If you want your dog to change, you must change There’s just no getting around this! If you want your dogs behavior to change then you must change-some of it has to be permanent, not temporary. All of the training in the world will only get you a little bit of improvement. If you want behavioral changes then your behavior has to change. Even the idea of what your life looked like with a dog may need to change. Especially if you have a dog with high levels of anxiety or aggression. What you...

Under these different and odd circumstances, I’ve received countless emails and questions on socializing new puppies and new rescue dogs. If you look at many articles it talks about how your puppy should meet 100 people and as many dogs as possible in the first month. If you got a new rescue dog, you probably want the dog to meet everyone to make sure things will go smoothly with your friends and neighbors and friends dogs. We currently live in an environment where in many places, that just...

One thing I am constantly amazed at is how FAST puppies change and then change AGAIN around that 2/3 year mark. Basically their baby, toddler and adolescent years are all balled up in the first 2-3 years of life. This makes life for the owner of the puppy quite the roller coaster and challenging! Let’s go down this bunny trail with the understanding that there are many exceptions of course, but i’m going to keep this short and simple, haha (it’s funny because I rarely keep things short...

Debunking some myths of what dogs need and want in a walk. Let’s keep talking about the walk. Recently I wrote in depth about how the walk can and should become a job for your dog. You can find this on my blog page. As valuable as that might have sounded to some, there are still often some thoughts that creep in making us owners feel bad about not letting our dog explore more. I understand that so I wanted to debunk some myths behind those ideas. If you were on the fence reading the last...

Let’s stop calling our dogs stubborn all the time. They very well might be stubborn and I know that is a word we trainers use probably too often as well, but the reasons behind the stubborn-ness are SO important. A main reason we see that creates stubbornness in dogs is no history of accountability or learning to learn how to do things by following instructions from man. That was a bit of a mouthful. Let me unpack that. If there is little to no guidance given to a dog from a person and no...

Everyone says dogs need a job and they’ll be less stressed, reactive and over stimulated…but what does that even mean? I’ve known lots of dogs with jobs and they still do all of those unwanted behaviors. The difference comes when you have more influence over their decisions. That’s the secret. I think sometimes we struggle saying those things out loud and trainers try to find gentler ways to say things, but they aren’t being clear. Bottom line, when your dog has a job that involves...

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This is a phrase I heard a lot as a kid. Usually it implied that a person can’t learn something new because they are too set in their ways. Of course we know that isn’t always the case. It really depends on the person’s mentality, how hard they are willing to work at it, with some limitations sometimes of course. Mainly, the person has to MAKE the decision to change and then change is a possibility. But what does that mean for dogs? The saying...

Retrievers are very special indeed. I love Flat-Coated Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. Others will swear by their Labrador Retrievers. You must know that they are all very similar, but we’ll focus on the golden. I’ll start with what inspired me to write this blog. I grew up with many dogs, one of them a golden. She was wild and fun until the day she passed. Something that struck me about her that I didn’t know about the breed at the time was how loyal she was. I grew up with herding...

It’s that time again, holiday get a puppy time! Also, go to the rescue and adopt a dog for the holidays! I think it’s wonderful…or it can be. I never want to discourage anyone from doing that. However, as a trainer and someone who worked in rescues for several years, serious caution and advice is necessary. First off, never do this on a whim. Research the breed or breed mix you are adopting. Know that when you go back to work after the holiday break, the dog is properly covered for...

To kids, dogs often must be a chore or they are ignored. How often has your kid grown tired of a new toy, hobby or sport at school? Many kids under 15 grow tired of everything at some point. Then they get some freedom around 15/16 and nothing else matters but their journey to independence. Human nature, normal, unavoidable, life…right?! Where does that leave your family pet? Many kids and families are over-joyed at their new puppy or family dog. It’s so exciting and fun at first. That can...

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