By on Apr 18, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

SIT: Have your dog SIT at EVERY corner before you cross the street. This keeps both of you safe and out of oncoming traffic. Have your dog SIT on cue when a strange dog or person approaches. When your dog is approached by strangers (or friends) you have the right to ask them not to pet your dog. If you know your dog is nervous, stressed or uncomfortable in any way, politely tell them ‘he is not accepting pets today’ or ‘he is learning to be still’. WATCH ME: The WATCH ME cue asks your dog to give you immediate eye contact when you ask for it. It is a great way to redirect your dogs’ attention to you. You can interrupt an intense stare, an interest in a passing person, animal, bike or whatever, and keep him out of harm’s away. It also helps to refocus your dog. He can’t react to something if he is looking at you and getting rewarded/praised for doing so. LET’S GO: Let’s GO lets your dog know that you are about to change direction, go forward, or move into a walk after being still. This is also a great way to move your dog away from hazards or a potentially dangerous situation on a walk. LEAVE IT: LEAVE IT means “whatever you are focused on this instant you need to ‘leave it alone’ and look at me instead”. The ‘Leave it’ cue can help your dog avoid eating food, garbage, animal droppings, or any other inappropriate objects they may have found on a walk or in your own home (medicine, cleaning products, sewing objects, children’s toys etc.). It can also signal to your dog to ignore other dogs, squirrels, passing cars, bicyclist, skateboarder etc.  Your voice should be ‘serious’ buy not scary and acknowledge him for leaving it, with a ‘good boy’. DROP IT OR GIVE: In the event that your dog does pick up something that he shouldn’t before you can stop him, a good training cue is the ‘drop it’ or ‘give’. Remember, thank and praise your dog with a treat or a nice pet, for giving you what he might see as a ‘prized possession’. HEEL AND LOOSE LEASH WALKING: Heel is a very specific ‘strict’ walking style, which requires the dog to maintain his position on your left side, with his shoulder blade lining up with your pant leg. It is an appropriate walking style for crowded streets or crowds etc. Loose Leash Walking allows your dog a little more freedom giving him the opportunity to sniff and explore to the end of his leash (without pulling) while still giving the handler control in...

Read More

Coming When Called

By on Apr 17, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Use ONE word; it’s important that he hear the word over and over. When your dog hears his name and “come here’, he should look at you and come running and be happy to do it. Coming to you should always be a pleasure and reward with a happy voice, generous treats, kisses, hugs, etc. ALWAYS reward. Your dog will learn that ‘good things’ happen when he comes to you. Practice with the round robin game, in a safe indoor environment first, with a leash if necessary, have your friend have you dog, tell him to stay ( if he knows stay .. great, if not we can work on that later, if you have an adult dog, he should know stay.), walk about 6 – 8 steps, call your dog (leash dragging behind) Encourage him the entire way! When he arrives, lots of praise and treats. And then do the same thing again with you holding the leash and your friend calling. Repeat throughout the day, and move farther away (with longer leashes/lines as needed) As your dogs ‘coming’ are more and more reliable, you can mix it up. You can add distractions, change directions, back up, anything to make it fun and your dog can be successful. Keep trainings short, no more than 10 minutes, several times a day. If you or your dog is getting tired, frustrated, just take a break and do something fun. NEVER, EVER, EVER call your dog to you for something unpleasant (the vet, his crate, punishment etc.) If you need to have your dog for any of these, go and get him with the...

Read More

Canine Good Citizens

By on Mar 18, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Have you ever wondered if your dog has what it takes to be a Canine Good Citizen? Sign them up for a training session with me to find out. Now training classes prepare dogs to take and pass the Canine Good Citizen test! Here’s Kristy and Street with the coveted Canine Good Citizen...

Read More

Calling All Heroes

By on Jul 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Calling All Heroes Well, here we are, well into another bright and promising New Year. But how many of us are already struggling to live up to our New Year’s resolutions?  Did you already give in and have that piece of cake you swore off? Have you gone to exercise class yet? Taken those walks? Cleaned out that closet?  Don’t feel bad, you have plenty of company. Each year at this time millions of seniors focus on their personal flaws and resolve to do something that will make themselves better. But I would like to offer you a different idea: This year, instead of focusing on your flaws and shortcomings, focus instead on your talents and strengths. Instead of asking yourself, “What can I do to become a better person?” ask yourself instead, “What can I do, in my own special way, to make a better world?” In my work with seniors over the years, I have heard so many comment in ways that break my heart. “Laura,” they will say to me, “I would like to volunteer in my community, but what’s the use? I’m too old. I can’t get around like I used to. What can one old person like me really do to make a difference?” What can one person do to help the world? The answer is simple. Just do what you can. As seniors and retired folks, we may not have as much money or energy as we used to have. But we have the time, and the life experiences, and the heart, and the desire to do something that makes a difference for those around us. What other age group is so blessed? What a shame if we feel called to volunteer, but we don’t answer the call. Frequent readers of this column know that my passion is in volunteering with animal rescue groups. May I suggest that you join me in this worthy cause by volunteering in your own neighborhood or community? No matter what your age or condition, I assure you there are many ways you can help make a difference for a homeless dog or cat, including: You can adopt and love a ‘senior’ animal who just wants a warm home, a cozy lap and a soft hand to pet and love them in their final years.  You can help with mailings or fundraisers. You can go to the shelter now and then and cuddle new kittens You can foster a frightened animal You can sign up at the shelter to answer phones, greet visitors, do filing, assist in off-site events, or organize pet-food drives If you can sew, you can make cat toys or dog blankets for the shelter...

Read More

How smart is your dog?

By on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How smart is your dog? We all know that dogs have unique and, in some cases, amazing abilities to learn and problem solve.  Perhaps you have seen dogs performing memory games or distinguishing among hundreds of objects. Among the most famous of the “brilliant dogs” are Rico who knows more than 200 words, and Betsy who knows about 340.  But the champ so far is Chaser who recognizes more than 1,000 different words or objects!  And it probably comes as no surprise that all three of these furry little wizards is a Border   Collie—one of the brightest breeds of all. Pet Expert Warren Eckstein, a regular guest on the ‘Today’ show, believes there are two basic types of dog intelligence: instinctive and adaptive. According to Eckstein “instinctive intelligence” is breed specific.  In other words, certain breeds just naturally possess the ability to do some things better than other breeds.  Specific breeds of hounds, for example, usually do better on sight-oriented tasks, while bloodhounds, beagles and some terriers are much better at scent-oriented tasks. Eckstein describes “adaptive’ intelligence” as social and environmental learning—the kind of intelligence that comes from dealing with everyday circumstances—sort of like “on the job training.”  It’s interesting to note that dogs are like humans in that not all of us learn the same way, or at the same pace. Some of us are better at math, while others are far better at language. So here are some little “intelligence tests” that will be fun for you and your dog.  Don’t try to jam all these tests into one day, and be sure to reward your dog with treats for every effort.  If he becomes frustrated at some point, just give him a break and try again later, maybe even on another day.  Keep in mind that all of us learn differently, so don’t be surprised if your dog does better at some tests than others. Just love him and praise him for trying. Dog Intelligence Tests Towel Test:  Gently place a large towel over your dog’s head. If he frees himself from the towel in less than 15 seconds, give him 3 points; if 15-30 seconds, he gets 2 points; and longer than 30 seconds, he gets 1 point. Bucket Test:  Let your dog watch you place a treat under one of three buckets (or large plastic cups)  that are placed next to each other.  Turn your dog away from the buckets for a few seconds; then have him turn around and find the treat. If he gets the right bucket/cup on the first try, award him 3 points; if two attempts – 2 points; if he finds the treat after looking under the two...

Read More