Author: pet-care

The 3 Biggest Dog Training Myths Myth #1 I need to enroll my dog in an obedience class for training. Most people think that dog training classes are effective methods for training your dog. The reality is that dogs are easily distracted by the presence of other people and dogs. Also being in a strange environment and the necessity of employing a “one size fits all” methodology in the instruction makes this approach virtually useless for training dogs. Generally obedience classes are good for socialization but a total waste for real training. Most students drop out before ever finishing. Owners…

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Many of us have met the “fear biter.” This dog will attack a human, child, or another dog without much warning. Often, the onslaught occurs just as you turn your back to walk away. Fear biters are dogs that are aggressive out of fear of their surroundings. Whether they have been poorly socialized or improperly bred, these dogs will attack without provocation. In many ways, this “attack before being attacked” method is a defensive reaction. However, it can still be dangerous, and owners need to stop the problem immediately. Puppies often exhibit this behavior because they are not well socialized.…

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A condition termed ” Small Dog Syndrome” is a common malady I encounter in training dogs. It is frequently presented in small breed dogs, and the general symptoms are problems with dog house training, aggression, separation anxiety, phobic reactions and diffused stress reactions. The reason this is seen so frequently in small dogs is usually the fault of the owners. Accordingly, the remedy for this Syndrome is only possible by owner education and owner behavior modification. This may seem surprising since many people view the task of a dog trainer as one of strictly “fixing” the dog. However, the source…

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A common question I receive from prospective clients is “what training methods do you use”. Displaying my characteristic ineptness in the niceties of double-speak and the various marketing mantras designed to dazzle, I resort to a radical approach and simply tell the truth. To wit; “Sir/Madam, I use the method that works for your dog.” A moment of silence normally ensues as In this day and age people expect to be harangued by a slick sales pitch. I am not a salesman but an old dog trainer merely trying to center people on the bottom line goal that they should…

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Training your dog is a life-long process. Often people expect me to use my experience and knowledge to instantly teach a dog to sit or heel correctly. Generally, this is not the case. A good trainer can have your dog obeying basic commands in a relatively short period of time but the “secret” ingredient to having a reliability trained dog is owner consistency. Consistency requires a life-long commitment. As an example, my trained dog reliably waits on a down/stay outside our local Starbuck’s while my wife and I have coffee. Every morning we walk our dog and every morning we…

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I cannot train a dog to be a happy healthy pet without the owner’s support and co-operation. The biggest mistakes in trying to train a dog are owner behaviors described below. If you want to have a well trained and mentally healthy dog, please avoid becoming any or all of the dog owners I describe below. The Pest- This owner spends most of the time reassuring the dog that they are foremost in the owner’s mind. In public, you’ll hear them calling to the dog every time the dog gets interested in something, just in case the dog forgets that…

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All dogs bite under the proper circumstances. If you stress a dog or the dog feels overwhelmed and cornered, you are likely to be bitten. Even the cutest, fuzziest, lovable pup can bite if provoked. Most people are bitten by their own dog or one they know. Some owners actually think it’s macho to promote aggression in their dogs or allow aggression to go unchecked. If your dog is showing aggression, call in a pro for help. Denial can be deadly. Although media reports and rumors often give the impression that certain breeds of dog are more likely to bite,…

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Knowing your dog is the key to dog training. This is the problem with dog training books, videos, obedience classes and most general dog training advice (including mine). In other words, your dog is not exactly like my dog or any other dog. Yes, as canines they share common traits and behaviors. However, to effectively train your dog, you must understand their temperament, likes and disposition. If you watch popular dog training TV shows, you will see a variety of methods that appear to effortlessly achieve the training goals that you desire. As an example, I once watched a dog…

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The trouble with tricks is that they serve little useful purpose. Often owners will spend inordinate amounts of effort in teaching their dogs to ‘give paw’, ‘play dead’, etc. Although the acquisition of such skills can mentally challenge your dog during the learning process, they have no real world benefit other than to enhance master’s ego. In accessing a new client and their dog, I will often inquire as to what skills the dog has learned. It is often told that the dog can give paw, roll over and perform numerous cute tricks. However, the dog is unwilling to walk…

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The needle slid easily into the vein and its lethal contents were injected slowly. The final good-byes had been said and now, as tears streamed down his face, the owner reflected on what went wrong as he watched his dog die. He thought about how hard he’d tried – he had sought out the best trainer he could find and when the behavior didn’t improve, he had sought out another. No one, it seemed, either could or would offer him a solution to solve the behavior problem which ultimately had proven terminal. If the above paragraph seems overly dramatic, I…

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