Dog Training

Common questions from dog owners before training: Will my dog still be able to sleep with me? Does my dog HAVE to be crated? Why can’t my dog just have some free time in the yard? Why can’t my dog get affection and belly rubs from me? Why can’t I designate an area of the couch for him/her? The thing is, your dog CAN have all of those things...possibly. We treat each dog individually, but have everyone start off by heavily restricting privileges for a while when going back home or starting...

If you want to gain a better understanding of your dog's behavior and learn how to not only tell your dog what to do, but teach them to learn and become more self reliant in their decision making, this seminar is for you! The target focus two day weekend seminars are leash handling skills and how different types of leashes and tools are beneficial for different reasons. It’s also important to know how and when to use them. With the leash we’ll be going over when and how to be gentle, when...

Do dogs like hugs and getting in their face for kisses? This is something we come across a lot and I hear debated by so many people. I might watch a video or read an article with another trainer talking about how dogs hate hugs and it doesn’t come natural to who they are and causes stress. Then many people will be angry at that swearing that their dog loves hugs. So here is the skinny! They are both right. For me, in my experience it comes down to trust and easiness of nature. Now this...

I have always been fascinated by a mammal’s senses from an orca whale to an elephant and a dog’s nose is an amazing thing worth examining. Unlike our noses, a dog really knows how to tap into their abilities and utilize them. We’ve been able to really hone in on that natural ability to accomplish some incredible things with dogs! This should also give you a great amount of insight to why certain things might be surprisingly difficult when training your dog.

How to matter to your dog...be relevant...find that deep connection with dogs we see and hear about in movies and in books. So many owners feel that their dog, even if they behave well, don’t ever listen!!! Let me try NOT to get into the weeds by talking about initial genetics of a dog, certain behavioral limitations and just give some awesome foundational generalizations you can use with your pooch at home.

You can’t hide it...from your dog. You think you are hiding it from your friends, colleagues, even family, but you aren’t from your dog. You aren’t first challenged by your work, family or obligations. Your first challenge is how you treat yourself and how you talk to yourself and then handle yourself in those work, family and other obligations. In a world with big obligations, big goals, big expectations and a fast paced lifestyle, many of us feel we are falling short or drowning in this...

I was recently reading an article in psychology today on over-parenting. That can be a hot button issue in and of itself, but stay with me here. The woman used several examples of kids being sheltered and things done for them, resulting in them being resentful or spoiled to the point they cannot take care of themselves or cope with the most basic of challenges in life. You are probably wondering what this has to do with dogs…quite a bit actually.

The working dog brain vs the family dog brain. We get so many different personalities of dogs at Ruff Beginnings Rehab. It’s really a joy for us to see how diverse dogs are with personality and breed traits. What we seem to see the most, as far as clients struggling with their dogs, are those strong breed characteristics overwhelming the dogs state of mind and as a result, damaging the owner’s quality of life with their dog. The main differences I’m talking about is the pet dog brain vs...

You get what you pet… Reward calm behavior… Reward the mindset you want with praise in the form of food or pets. These are things we say often, including myself, and they are true and important, but what can get lost is the context of affection when training. For the dogs we see with behavioral issues, they need less affection in general, especially when their dog is calm.

Reflection: When is it a good time to reflect on things? Your past decisions, your current job, the life you have made with your kids and spouse, down to the history you and your dog have together. I don’t reflect a lot. I find that my friends and family do enough of that for me and honestly I’m too busy. For me reflection happens in two ways…an unhealthy way and a healthy way.

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