When is affection appropriate? This is such a common question I get and there is no easy answer now that we live with our dogs and they have so much access to us. So I thought I would give you guys some ideas for clarity. If you are having some behavioral issues with your dog or feel your dog is getting anxiety, ask yourself the questions below. *When your dog respects you and your space when you ask. * When you’ve worked with your dog are working together nicely in most situations. * When...

Leash training a dog can really be difficult. Dogs don’t like to be held back with something foreign, like a leash, so it can cause frustration and more pulling. Honestly, a leash doesn’t come naturally to a dog. How to handle being on leash has to be taught and that consistent communication has to be maintained for the life of the dog. Most of the time, when a leash is put on a dog, it creates a need to want to pull more. Opposition reflex is a natural thing that happens and works against...

HEAT WAVE! This time of year for many is tough. It’s so hot you can’t even walk your dog after 9am! This is really difficult for higher energy breeds so I wanted to give you all some ideas you can do with your dogs indoors. FIRST…just a little word of caution. A common misconception is that if you are okay with the heat, your dog is. This just isn’t true. Dogs do not sweat all over like we do, have thinner skin, need more frequent breaks in the shade and they have flesh for feet!...

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...

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