Dogs Need 4 Simple Things That Every Owner Wants

Dogs Need 4 Simple Things That Every Owner Wants

Dog Behavior, Training
Dogs need 4 simple things that every owner wants. Truth. Not that complicated. Visualize this for a moment:  Imagine yourself driving west down the highway at a comfortable 50 mph. Suddenly you realize that your destination is east, not west. Oops! Headed the wrong way! Gotta turn around...but not at 50 mph! Obviously reversing direction requires you to first slow down gradually-slamming on your brakes in traffic is a really bad idea! Then you need to signal your intentions so you can get your vehicle smoothly out of traffic. When it’s safe, you can maneuver your vehicle in a new direction. Now you can gradually gather momentum toward your destination in the east, not the west. Since my sense of direction has never been that great, I can easily visualize…
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Simple Updated Dog Training Just Makes Sense

Simple Updated Dog Training Just Makes Sense

Dog Behavior, Training
Simple updated dog training just makes sense. If simple updated dog training just makes sense, then why do so many of us believe it’s too complicated, too time-consuming, too futile? A lot of us dog people struggle with questions like these... “What can I do when my dog jumps on me - or on visitors?”  “How can I get my dog to quit pulling on the leash when we go for a walk?” Sound familiar? So many dog parents ask the same questions. You’re not the only one!  It can be so frustrating. You’re dealing with your dog’s unwanted behavior (jumping on you), you’re struggling to reverse it (make the jumping stop), but it’s already too far gone. And it feels like things are getting out of control!  Outdated Practices…
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Squirrels and Birds and Cats, Oh My!

Squirrels and Birds and Cats, Oh My!

Dog Behavior, Training
Squirrels and Birds and Cats Oh My! is the final part of this 4-part series about dogs and human leadership. Read the previous three articles here. Squirrels and birds and cats aren't the only things competing with you for your dog's attention. But please raise your hand if you've ever had to find a way to manage critter distraction! That would be true for most dog owners, I suspect. Leadership is your ability to motivate your dog to offer attention. Motivating a dog to freely offer you his attention and to dismiss distractions is an art and a skill. It takes patience and practice. Seasoned dog trainers, whether hobby or pro, know that successfully keeping a dog's attention is proactive, and not reactive. They spend a lot of time purposefully…
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Stop Socializing Your Shy Dog

Stop Socializing Your Shy Dog

Dog Behavior, Training
Stop Socializing Your Shy Dog is Part 3 in this 4-part series of articles about dogs and human leadership. Part 2 is A Confused Dog Can't Just Google It And Part 1 is 3 Ways You Hired Your Dog As the CEO. Watch this space next week for the 4th and final article in the series. It felt really weird but I decided to stop socializing my dog. Did I screw up? I'll find that out at some point but for now, the jury is still out... I have not socialized my 10-month-old puppy much at all. At least not the way I intended to do it back in February when he was just a tiny bundle of brown and white fluff. Most people accept that puppies should definitely be socialized…
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A Confused Dog Can’t Just Google It

A Confused Dog Can’t Just Google It

Dog Behavior, Training
(A confused dog wants clarity. In the previous article, I talked about 3 ways that people get disconnected from their dogs. Not knowing what else to do when that happens, most dogs simply decide to become their own boss - the CEO. Those 3 disconnection events are confusion, overwhelm, and distraction. The following article is about how to overcome confusion.) What do YOU do when you want the answer to some question that's on your mind? If you're like me, you just Google it! Easy peasy...gotta love Google! Thing is, though...a confused dog can't just Google it and get the confusion cleared up! Yet dogs have always been able to find answers in the environment...where Nature never lies to them. Dogs are super-savvy observers of their surroundings and that ability…
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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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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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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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Who Will You Trust To Train Your Dog?

Who Will You Trust To Train Your Dog?

Puppy Training, Training
Looking for help to train your dog? Let's face it. What's the first thing you do when you need answers?  Google it! Am I right? So if you want an answer to training your dog to...let's say, stop barking too much or jumping on guests, ...why not just get a bunch of ideas off the internet?  After all, there's so much out there about every subject under the sun! And that's exactly the problem! You'll find so much chatter and clutter that, unless you're already an expert, you have no way to differentiate what's good from what's just plain crap.  The thing you should know is that experts can tell the difference. They spend years and years researching and learning. Serious trainers will consistently dissect and test ideas and then measure them against proven data. They can instantly…
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Five Things NOT To Do When Your Dog Is Afraid

Five Things NOT To Do When Your Dog Is Afraid

Dog Behavior, Training
Knowing What Not To Do When Your Dog Is Afraid Lets You Be Smart About Managing Your Dog's Fears You have the best intentions. You want to help your dog get over being scared. Maybe she barks at a visitor, so you encourage the visitor to approach and "make friends". Or, maybe your dog seems afraid of other dogs, so you take her to a crowded dog park so she can "get used to" being around strange dogs. What if your dog growls at someone and then you punish her for misbehaving. In each case, the way you managed your dog's fear increased the dog's anxiety and prolonged it;  it did not relieve it. What should you do when your dog is afraid? Fear is a powerful emotion that can be overwhelming.  Your dog's emotion can show…
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