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3 Ways You Hired Your Dog as the CEO

3 Ways You Hired Your Dog as the CEO

Dog Behavior, Training
If you hired your dog as the CEO of everything, then what's your job? Look at it this way. When the family dog is given the job of "Canine Executive Officer"...CEO... does it mean that the humans are now the dog's...what?...employees? Scary thought, indeed! Not exactly what most people have in mind when they get a dog. So picture this. If you've ever wondered why the dog doesn't "listen" when you tell him to stop whatever, or why he doesn't come back when you call him, or why he leaves you "surprises" on your favorite carpet, then you just might have hired your dog as the CEO! Not on purpose, of course. But there it is. So how does that happen? How did it come to this? That you hire…
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Responsible Dog Ownership Day. One-size-fits-all?

Responsible Dog Ownership Day. One-size-fits-all?

Dog Behavior
In case you missed it, yesterday was Responsible Dog Ownership Day.  At least it was according to the American Kennel Club. What does responsible ownership mean? If you're reading this, I'm pretty sure you are someone who strives every day to take responsibility for your dog's welfare. I respect and thank you for that. Dogs deserve the best from us mere humans. However, you should know that I've spent nearly my entire life surrounded by dog people. And when I see how people engage with their dogs, it's definitely not one-size-fits-all!  As you might expect, they don't share cookie-cutter opinions about what's involved in responsible dog ownership. As a matter of fact, a whole lot of people with dogs view their role as more the parent instead of the owner. But that's a discussion for…
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Where Is Goldilocks When You Need Her?

Where Is Goldilocks When You Need Her?

Puppy Training, Training
I’m looking for Goldilocks. It could involve you, so hear me out. I’ve been cooking up an idea for nearly a year.  And now it’s about time to serve up that idea to dog peeps like you so you can sample it for yourselves! Wait. Let me back up here for a sec… If you know me at all, you know I’m all about helping dog owners fix whatever they feel is broken.  Nothing lights me up more than a wagging tail and a delighted smile at the end of a lesson! I used to love visiting clients in their homes. These days, however, we do Zoom meetings.  Times have changed. But the confident smiles and wagging tails are just the same as they’ve always been. When people get results,…
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Sudden Mysterious Boom in Fireworks Terrifies Pets & Worries Their Owners

Uncategorized
For weeks now the sudden nationwide increase in random backyard fireworks has terrified many noise-sensitive pets and upset their owners. Authorities can't say why it's happening and most people have no idea what they can do about it. If it's this bad now, you have to wonder what will happen on July 4th. That means that if you have a dog that panics during fireworks, the time to prepare is now before it's too late and your pet suffers more than necessary. What could be more heartbreaking than feeling helpless while your pet is scared? Can we accept the fact that there's not much you can do to prevent the fireworks from happening? I'll get to why in a minute. But first, I urge you to put your energy where…
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Puppy Backtalk: How You Answer It

Puppy Backtalk: How You Answer It

Puppy Training
Puppy backtalk will happen eventually.  It's one of those milestones along the way to maturity. How you answer it, however, will decide the direction it takes. Pop Quiz: What age group of kids are MOST likely to challenge authority? Too easy?? The answer, of course, is teenagers.  Questioning, resisting, backtalking - it's all a normal part of kids growing up, testing limits, and discovering their independence. Puppy backtalk happens for the same reasons. If you're a dog aficionado like me, then there's no need to remind you that puppies, too are teenagers for a while. That three-month-old baby who happily did your bidding morphs behind your back into a six-month-old adolescent whose favorite reply is "not-gonna-don't-hafta".  Six-month-old Radar showed me his true teenage colors today. Anyone who's raised a puppy will recognize the inevitable moment…
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Why Exercise Alone Won’t Cure Your Dog’s Boredom

Why Exercise Alone Won’t Cure Your Dog’s Boredom

Stay Home Survival Kit, Training
Bored dogs, just like bored teenagers, want "something to do". But, of course, exercise alone won't cure your dog's boredom. Dogs naturally need physical exercise to stay fit and healthy. But a tired dog isn't necessarily a calm dog. The same goes for people. There's a "good tired". You know,... that calm feeling that comes after playing a challenging game, building, creating, producing a result, or solving a problem. The kind of activity that engages both body and mind is enriching and satisfying.  However, the other kind of tired...the not so good kind... comes after a lot of activity that keeps you busy but without mental enrichment. Work that doesn't also engage the mind can leave you feeling exhausted and restless. Not calm. Not satisfied. Think about the last time you had to figure…
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Misunderstanding Your Dog Will Make You Crazy

Misunderstanding Your Dog Will Make You Crazy

Dog Behavior
If you're like most dog owners, misunderstanding your dog happens a lot.   Ever wonder why the dog picks your stuff out of the laundry or your shoe from the closet?  And leaves everyone else's stuff alone? I bet you thought he was trying to get even for some imagined offense. Imagined by you, that is, - not by your dog.   Here's an example of what I'm talking about.  Maybe you felt guilty about paying too little attention to your dog when you were busy.  And then you figured that because of it your dog must have been so mad at you that he decided to plot a little bit of revenge. So he sniffs out one of your favorite belongings and trashes it. Except for the part about sniffing, that entire scene is just a fantasy.  Yet so many…
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The Little Game With Your Dog That Fixes Big Problems

The Little Game With Your Dog That Fixes Big Problems

Dog Behavior, Training Games
Did you ever wish for a magic wand to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash, quit jumping on you and other people, give up barking at whatever, come back when you called even if he's rolling in bunny poop, stop chasing bunnies, birds, squirrels? I can't offer you a fantasy magic wand, but what I can give you is even better than magic. And you don't have to be a magician or perform any fancy tricks. What if you could play a simple little game and zero in on the reason behind all the naughty stuff you wish a magic wand could fix? So, why do dogs ignore you and do those things?  What do all the things on that list have in common? And what missing ingredient could you add to change…
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Your Dog’s Answer to Confusion is Always No.

Your Dog’s Answer to Confusion is Always No.

Uncategorized
"The answer to confusion is always no." When the author Donald Miller wrote that statement he was talking about communication between people. But Miller is also a proud dog lover. So I bet he'd approve of expanding it to include our dogs.   Here's what I mean by that. Dogs get confused when people aren't clear. We humans often suffer from the illusion that more is better.  We pile on words, words, words when the dog still hasn't figured out what we said first.  Information overload leads to a shutdown.   The answer to confusion is always no. I have good news for you, though! You can turn your dog's confused no into a joyful yes.  More easily than you imagined! What does this mean for you? It means that you no longer have to feel frustrated because you believe that your dog…
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Dogs Stuck at Home Want to Play

Dogs Stuck at Home Want to Play

Dog Behavior, Stay Home Survival Kit, Training Games
The coronavirus is an invisible enemy.  I hope you and your family, including the animals who share your life, are all doing OK.  And as you struggle to get everything right and keep hoping you've not missed any important precaution, another invisible enemy - anxiety - keeps trying to crash the party! But remember one thing - dogs stuck at home just want to play! Let me be clear - I don't have any medical training. So heed the advice of the pros for that.  But because I have spent my entire life learning about dogs, here's what I have discovered. Dogs have the mysterious power to comfort, calm, and restore an anxious soul. Yes, of course, you feel good when you pet your dog.  That's for normal times.  These are NOT normal times. …
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