Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Training Should You Do With A New Puppy?

There are several things you should consider doing with a new puppy.

This article describes them all

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Experience Counts

How much experience should a dog trainer have before you hire them? It takes 3 weeks to become a dog trainer at most pet stores. Compare that to this study:
Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. That's 5 years full time work. I've been at it full time, professionally, since the beginning of 1997. And I was studying it as an amateur since 1986.

I've learned through the school of experience. There is no school for dog trainers that can teach this stuff to you. So, if you want to become a dog trainer, consider the investment of time and effort before you take someone's innocent dog and practice on it. If you don't know what you are doing, then don't go pro.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Gifts For Dogs And Dog Owners

Not sure what to buy for Christmas? Here are some unique ideas. Instead of the typical toys basket, try some of these fun and practical ideas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Training Your Dog - The Answers

* I am embarrassed by my dog. My husband won't work with the dog. My son can't even come in the house. My neighbors are complaining. I have to walk my dog at odd hours of the day and night. My dog is too friendly and jumps all over my guests.
* What’s it going to take to get my dog to stop jumping, pulling me on a walk, stop biting, stop chewing and destroying my furniture, to stop being afraid and anxious, stop running away, and to listen to me when I’m around distractions and come when called?
* What does it take to take an untrained dog and turn it into a trained dog?
* What are the steps involved?
* Are there any secrets to training a dog?
* How do I get a good dog trainer and avoid being ripped off by a bad dog trainer?

This article explains what you need to know

Saturday, December 18, 2010

HSUS and Michael Vick... Which Is Worse?

To all you rescue volunteers... Know who you support. I am not a fan of the HSUS at all... and here's a good example: the strange connection between HSUS and Michael Vick

Hat Tip: KC Dog Blog

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Are You Afraid Of Your Dog?

What do you do if you are
afraid of being bitten by your own dog? This article explains the situation, and includes a case example.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dog Problem or People Problem?

Not all dog problems are solved by just working with the dog. Good dog training involves
teaching the owner.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't Play Rough With Your Dog!

A 15-year-old boy was taken to Enloe Medical Center Sunday morning after he was bitten in the neck by his dog and fainted. Porter Duggins was "rough-housing" face-to-face with the family dog, Bubba, a half-Labrador, half-pit bull mixed breed, when the dog nipped at the boy's neck, said his father, Jeremy Duggins

I tell people all the time to not play rough with their dogs. The dog doesn't see it oftentimes as a game, and at some point the dog might bite you to tell you it doesn't like what you are doing. It's unbelievable that this owner is now thinking of putting this dog down! The dog is innocent.
Dog Attacks House Sitters

Some people and some dogs don't mix. Also, it's never wise to give a correction to a dog you don't know and haven't worked with. I have seen this kind of thing before with house sitters, they try to discipline the dog and it attacks... they didn't earn the right to be the leader just by moving in for a day or two. Did this happen here?
Pitbull attacks caretakers, is killed by deputy

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hectic Owner / Hectic Dog

Does your dog suffer from
AD/HD (Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder)? Then this is the article for you

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Who Is Burning The Dogs Of Arizona?

A friend of mine is tracking a new and horrific set of crimes... someone, or a group of someones, is
burning dogs in Arizona. Serial killer? Cult? Terrorist groups? I have no idea. Check her out on Facebook:

Who is burning the dogs of Arizona? My dear friends/animal lovers ... When I created this page, I was prompted by 3 dogs that showed up in the Phoenix area shelters with the same injuries. Since bringing awareness to this, cases have been showing up ALL OVER THE COUNTRY! At this point, we have no idea how or why ... Just know, that this has to be prevented! Thank you for joining this page and sharing ideas and information! ♥ Kat
Handler Skills Training

Dog training is more about training the owner than it is about training the dog. This article explains the principles behind Handler Skills Training. If you don't have good skills, no matter how well the dog is trained, it won't behave well around you or listen to your commands.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

How Do You Introduce A New Or Strange Dog?

When getting a new dog, there are
safe ways, and unsafe ways, of introducing them. This article explains my procedure and gives you direction as to how to proceed.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Free Tips On Getting A New Dog

Are you researching whether it is a good idea to get a new dog? Thinking of adopting or buying a dog? What about choosing a breeder, or picking the right breed? What about getting a dog from rescue, or a mixed bred dog? Who shouldn't own a dog? All these questions are answered.
Will Getting A Dog Help My Child's Behavior?

What are good reasons for getting a dog for a child? This article discusses things to consider

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Dogs Maul Kid, Dogs Are Innocent

A 10 year old boy climbed into a neighbor's yard and was mauled by 3 bull mastiffs. He was badly hurt. Seattle police reported: "This is a learning situation for everyone," Witt said. "You just don't go into other people's yards, especially when there are dogs."

Exactly. A tragedy for sure. But, not the dog's fault. Not the owner of the dog's fault. It doesn't matter that it was a kid, he was intruding and that provoked the attack. This is ultimately the fault of the adults responsible for supervising that kidk, and the fault of the kid for doing something stupid.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Prevention is Training

Preventing dog problems is better than fixing them.
This article describes my philosophy on using prevention in your dog training program.
Wrong Dog?

Police dog chasing suspect is killed after he throws it into the middle of oncoming traffic.

Looking at the pictures of this dog, it appears to be a pretty small dog. There has been a tendency to use Malinois as police dogs for quite a while, but a lot of these dogs aren't very big, and the cops have always preferred a bigger dog. This appears to be a German Shepherd, but a small one. If this had been a Rottweiler, this probably wouldn't have happened.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Do You Have A Stupid Dog?

I have encountered and trained a lot of dogs over the past decade and a half. I’ve trained some extremely intelligent dogs, and I’ve trained some that were just not very intelligent.

The smartest dog I ever encountered was a female Border Collie I worked with in 2007. It only took a couple of repetitions of showing her something, and she not only understood, but retained what I had shown her on the next lesson. She also would look to see what new thing I was going to show her after I taught her something; she was curious and liked to work. Yet, she was a very sensitive dog and was easily worried by people and dogs she didn’t know, so she didn’t adapt well to some social situations in public. The dumbest dog I ever encountered was a 1 year old, 100 pound, yellow Labrador Retriever I trained back around 2002. Nothing went into that thick skull of his, and we had to go over and over the same things for him to get what I was teaching. The training took forever, he also was defiant, and really only cared to look around at things in his environment. He also wasn’t all that personable.

I do remember, however, a dog that a customer had given up on. They said he was stupid, so they put him in the back yard and neglected him. And got another dog. I trained the second dog first. When I was almost finished with the second dog, I noticed they had a small dog in the back yard, and asked what was up with that dog. So, I asked permission to train him and see if I could fix what was wrong. The dog wasn’t stupid at all. He just was defiant, and needed patience and proper training. I remember demonstrating him to them when I was finished. They were shocked that it was the same dog. He actually was better behaved when I was finished with him than their first dog. The problem was... they still viewed him as a throw away dog, and eventually they started neglecting him again, started just leaving him in the back yard unattended, and he reverted back to the way he was.

It’s pretty rare that I run across a stupid dog. It’s usually a dog that is untrained and an owner that hasn’t put in the necessary time to get to know their dog. It’s really the owner who is stupid. They’ve concluded something based on faulty reasoning, emotions, and the result of bad training or no training at all. These so-called stupid dogs suffer as a result.

If you think you have a stupid dog, you probably don’t have a stupid dog. It’s probably that you are doing stupid training, or no training at all, and not giving your dog a chance to show you what s/he is capable of.
How Many Dogs Is Too Many?

I know of a woman who is a hoarder. She hoards garbage, and has done so for several decades, much to the dismay of her family. People hoard a wide variety of things, including animals such as dogs and cats. So, how many dogs is too many? I really don’t have a definitive answer.

I know of a puppy mill where 250 dogs were discovered, found in filth, and half of the dogs in such bad shape that they had to be euthanized. I used to know of a Doberman breeder who had 25 adult breeding dogs, with only 2 of those dogs living in the home and the rest living in kennels. I know of a show dog breeder who had so many dogs that they nearly wrecked the entire breed, their dogs were pretty but with poor temperament (stupid, defiant, aggressive, and not very trainable). I know of a past customer who had 8 dogs, ranging from Chihuahuas to French Bulldogs, to an English Bulldog. I know of rescue volunteers who take in way too many dogs for them to handle properly. For me, the most dogs I’ve ever had in my home was two. Some cities ban owners from having more than 3 dogs at a time. Landlords and homeowners associations regularly limit how many dogs a person can own.

In nature, most wolf packs have 6 to 7 members, with a single breeding pair (male and female), however it’s not unusual for packs to be more than double that amount.

The more dogs you own, the more potential you are going to have of dog fights, urination problems, unmannerly dogs, disobedient dogs, clean up problems, and smell. On the other hand, I’m more and more convinced, if you are equipped to handle it, dogs are better off if there are at least two dogs in the home than being an only dog, since dogs are social animals.

I really don’t like the government telling business people or individuals how many dogs they can own. However, we all know that too many dogs in one place eventually means that there are probably going to be problems.

I have generally found that homes with 4 or more dogs to be more chaotic, and the dogs not very well behaved. Usually because of the cost and effort it takes to supervise, feed, train, and entertain that many dogs, things start getting where the controlling factor is how well the dogs mix with one another, not how well the owner is with dogs. If the mix works, then everyone is happy. If the mix doesn’t work, then the whole thing becomes a mess.

I can’t really understand the idea of bringing more dogs into your home than you can personally attend to, train, feed, exercise, etc. Maybe when it gets past that point, we have to start wondering if the owner has personal issues. Maybe we are wrong about that, but it starts looking that way. We start to wonder if we are looking at a compulsive hoarder. If it’s a breeder, we start wondering about the quality of their breeding program, and whether they are just in it for the money. Really good breeders can manage a lot of dogs, but they also will either have a family operation or hired staff to ensure things are done humanely and professionally. The good ones that do volume also are doing sport related things with the dogs, not just pumping dogs out the door to just anyone who will send them some money.

I guess my viewpoint would be: if you are going to add additional dogs to your home or breeding operation, are all the dogs you own and breed going to be better off because of that decision or not? If not, then you already have enough dogs... and it’s time to stop acquiring more.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


When I die, so does my dog:
Some pet owners take animals to their graves. Some simply don't want to be buried alone, while others fear no one will take care of the critters

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Watch your dog today with guests. Domestic violence is higher on holidays because of alcohol consumption, dogs get in the way and get abused

Monday, November 22, 2010

Three significant factors contributing to dog attacks: lack of prudent management of a dog; substance abuse; & dogs with underlying unresolved medical problems

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm at a public event today. Saw WAY too many untrained dogs dragging their owners along. They need training:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hero Dog, Target, Killed By Animal Control

A dog, named Target, credited with saving the lives of 50 US soldiers in Iraq has been killed by a Pinal County, AZ employee. The employee has been put on administrative leave.

I am no fan of animal control. I have seen plenty of abuses over the years. Animal Control is the rump end of the police force of a city, with all the police powers of a cop but without the training, skills, aptitude or organization in place to ensure the Constitutional rights of dog owner. I've seen animal control fight for inhumane dog laws, such as in Seattle, causing the deaths of untold dogs for frivilous reasons, just to raise more funds for the city in terms of fees and increasing the power base of petty city managers and increasing the number of employees who are now beholden to the city for their jobs. I've seen animal control fight in the courts to put a dog to death, even after the dog's owner was deemed innocent of any legal violation, just to prove a point that animal control should have the right to do whatever they damn well please with the dogs they seize. I've seen dogs seized off owner's property without a warrant, to be put down for doing nothing that would cause any harm to anyone. I've seen dogs in animal control left to lay in their own feces, and covered in flies. And you can bet this isn't the only dog that has been "accidentally" put to death like this at an animal control facility.

There are some accidents that are the result of the randomness of nature. Those are forgiveable. Then there are accidents that are the result of people doing things they know, or should know, they shouldn't be doing. Those second kind are what I feel happened here, by all accounts I've read over the past day. In my opinion, in private industry,
that kind of foolishness should be a firing offense, both for the employees who did it, and for the head of animal control. But, this isn't private industry. There should be an investigation. Procedures should be rewritten. A board of outside supervisors should be established to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Employees re-evaluated for competence and training. And heads should roll. I'm pissed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pulling On A Leash?
If your dog pulls so hard on a leash that it continually coughs... YOUR DOG IS NOT TRAINED! Go get some lessons from a good dog trainer. I just hate seeing this kind of thing. And there's no need for it. And it isn't good for the dog's neck.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Border Collie
I'm currently training a Border Collie in Advanced Obedience. It's really quite enjoyable working with this breed and seeing them just "get" what you are teaching. It's a no brainer. That doesn't mean this is the ideal breed for everyone, and you really need to get to know this breed before you get one to be sure this is what you want. Every breed has strengths and weaknesses, and that's true of Border Collies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How To Spoil A Dog
Read my latest article on this common dog behavior problem: Spoiling

Monday, November 08, 2010

Dog Training In Phoenix, AZ

Here are the locations in which I do most of my dog training. It has been quite a switch, moving from Seattle several years ago to here. I love training dogs here, but there are some significant differences in how I now operate. Take a look at the following articles:

Locations Serviced: Ahwatukee, Anthem, Avondale, Buckeye, Cave Creek, Chandler, Chandler Heights, DC Ranch, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Laveen, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Sun City, Sun Lakes, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson
10 Foolish Things People Do With Dogs

1.) Foolish Training: Wrong trainer, wrong class, unscientific training, no reasonable goals, no maintenance training, not training at all, method bias, not taking obedience to off leash control.
2.) Foolish Dog Selection: Wrong breed, not considering all the factors of ownership, not enough research, purchase more on looks than traits, wrong pup from litter or shelter or breeder.
3.) Foolish Feeding: table scraps, obesity, fad diets, improper puppy feeding, improper elderly feeding, not using medical diets when prescribed by vet, let dog eat garbage, give chocolate (poisonous) to dog, allowing dog to eat or lick things off the ground.
4.) Foolish Situations: bought a dog, but should own a dog; kids don’t treat dog properly, bought dog as a gift for someone else; don’t have enough time for the dog; got a dog just before having a baby and don’t have time for dog; not physically capable of managing dog; dog doesn’t match your living situation (your apartment doesn’t allow dog ownership); person you live with doesn’t like dogs; marry someone who doesn’t like dogs; dog can’t act mannerly in situation so gets in trouble or bites someone
5.) Foolish Leadership: bought a dog for a kid (kids are not mature enough to manage a dog); “master” isn’t the master; different commands for every person; unfair demands of dog; no set rules for household; dog doesn’t have a master at all
6.) Foolish Supervision: peeing and pooping problems in the home; chewing problems; not on lead in public; not having a fenced yard; not in crate when not supervised as a pup; dog overheats in summer and freezes in winter because of inadequate housing and supervision; not being careful of goofy neighbors.
7.) Foolish Breeder/ Breeding: stupid place to buy your dog (pet store, puppy mill breeder, backyard breeder); breed own dog when you don’t know what you are doing (and produce unwanted, unhealthy or unstable dogs); no reasonable health care of pups and parents; breeding just for looks and not working ability and stability as a pet; no temperament testing of breeding stock; breeding younger dogs instead of older dogs (should collect semen and breed dogs if still healthy after 10 years old to eliminate many genetic diseases)
8.) Foolish Safety: dog in back of pickup truck; play with children unsupervised; tied out to pole; not vaccinated; let run loose in neighborhood; rough play; letting strangers hurt your dog; tying dog outside of store unsupervised; not knowing natural hazards around you
9.) Foolish Aggression: no proper training and supervision; not knowing what causes dogs to bite; not knowing the law; not knowing enough about the breed you own; not knowing enough about other dogs you meet; teasing a dog; messing with a dog you don’t know; rough play; rough treatment; bad breeding.
10.) Foolish Politics: animal rights folks want to ban domesticated dog ownership; “claw and bite” laws; unfair “menacing” laws; opposing tail docking and ear cropping in some breeds; breed bans; pit bull and other breed biases; poorly written “vicious dog” ordinances and insurance prohibitions; hiking bans; travel bans; unfair self protection laws for humans and dogs; overly restrictive leash laws; uninformed candidates running for office or in office; unreasonable animal control policies; not caring when you see an injustice concerning dogs; reactionary laws and actions after dog biting incidents that don’t relate to the average dog owner; being uninvolved in dog issues

Thursday, November 04, 2010

UPDATED: Buying A Dog / Choosing A Breeder
Every once in a while, I do an update on one of my articles. If you are looking to buy or adopt a dog, you should read this first.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Today is a good day to train your dog!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Animal Neglect
Case study of two dogs that are neglected by their owners... and there's nothing we can do about it.
Anger Has No Place In Dog Training
This article is a case study regarding anger. Dog training doesn't go so well if you get angry with your dog.
Another Dog Attack That Didn't Have To Happen
A man was handing out fliers, door to door, for a restaurant. Instead of leaving them at the gate of one house, he entered the gate and was attacked by the owner's pit bulls and severely injured. The owner had a Beware of Dog sign, which the man couldn't read. Here's my opinion...
Look, I hate it that this man was injured. I'm not a violent person. I don't ever want someone to be hurt. But, it's just stupid to enter into someone's property, past a gate, without permission. You can be shot. You can be attacked by their dogs. That's life. It sucks, but people and dogs do things to protect themselves from intruders, such as install gates, post warning signs, and getting dogs. Everyone knows this. Thus, this guy did something stupid and paid the price of his stupidity. And so did the owner since one of the attacking dogs died in the custody of animal control.
My only suggestions for the owner in the future would be to put a lock on your gate (though I've posted stories of people climbing fences and being attacked by dogs, so even that isn't fool proof), and posting a No Trespassing sign, to increase the legal cost to the intruder for entering without permission. My suggestions to those who would pass out fliers... stay on public property, and don't enter private property without permission. Sorry this guy got hurt, but there's no way to legislate IQ or wisdom. Do stupid things, pay the price.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Antisocial Dogs
Not all dogs are safe to pet. I am amazed at the number of people who get bitten when petting dogs they don't know. I never do this. I take time to get to know a dog, and for the dog to get to know me, before I start petting any dog. Dogs don't just bite out of fear. Some are socially aggressive. Here are more thoughts on this topic.
Do You Need A Personal Protection Or Guard Dog?
Are you buying a dog to protect you from criminals? Better read this article!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So, You Want To Be A Dog Whisperer?
A lot of people want to know what a "dog whisperer" is, and how you become one. This article explains what it means and what it takes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Strange. There doesn't seem to be a common thread here regarding which dogs get cancer and which ones don't, except maybe based on the past popularity of the breed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I ALWAYS recommend putting dogs away when having a large party at your home. Too much risk the dogs will get in trouble or guest do something stupid

Thursday, October 07, 2010

If you haven't trained your dog in a while, I'm sure you & your dog need a tune up. If you live in the Phoenix / Scottsdale AZ area give me a call

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Its important to be able to keep your cool and stay positive and clear headed when trainin or handling a dog

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm more determined than even the most willful and stubborn dog

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A dog is a daily obligation. If you are responsible don't get a dog

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

These upcoming elections on the local level will directly affect your dog. Vote Pro Dog! (Pro-dog activists listed on sidebar)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I know of dog trainers that fake their credentials. There are crooks in every field of human endeavor
Even trained dogs need tune ups

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I see way too many fat dogs doing hard hikes. Hey, its not safe to overwork an unfit dog!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Your emotional wellbeing directly affects your dog's behavior

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A lot of the worst dog laws are the product of a bunch of attention seeking politicians.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If I can't get an owners thinking straight, I can't get their dog to behave them properly

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ever consider that the reason your dog doesn't obey is because YOU don't know what you are doing?
I was *accused* of being a bookworm today by a good friend. Maybe I am ;) its one reason I know so much about dogs & dog ownerw

Monday, September 13, 2010

Most dog breeds need genetic help, outcrossing to related breeds to freshen their gene pools. Check out the LUA Dalmatian
A Catahoula Leopard Dog is more complex than the average pet.
If your dog is a year or older and still peeing and/ or pooping in the house it is time to hire a professional dog trainer. your dog isn't trained!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

There's something wrong in your beliefs if you believe that doing evil acts will earn you a place in heaven.
Just bcuz some people treat their religion like a cult doesn't mean there is no God or that He approves of their evil acts
Never forget 9/11 bcuz 20 yrs from now there will be people who will deny it ever happened

Friday, September 10, 2010

Most people don't know how to pet a dog
The longer you postpone dealing w your dogs serious behavior problems the more likely the remedy will be harsh for everyone
Can't tell you how many dog owners I meet w untrained dogs who also are devoted Cesar Millan fans. Watching isn't doing folks
I really get fed up with lazy dog owners, esp those who blame the dog for things that are really the fault of the owner being lazy
Its important to make your yard safe BEFORE you get a dog.
Nobody likes your bratty dog. Get off your lazy ass and do some training
All dogs can be house trained. Its no fun, I'm sure, to live in filth and your friends are grossed out by it too. Don't be lazy or cheap, get it done

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Dog rescue is a great thing, helping many dogs. Downside is that there never seems to be enough homes for the dogs you help

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I'm working today to find a home for a rescued pup found wandering the streets

Monday, September 06, 2010

Folks who complain about you always wanting to be right just want to justify why they can treat you or your dog wrong

Sunday, September 05, 2010

If you've owned enough dogs over enough years, one of your dogs will get loose. Proper training might be the only way to call them home
I have hiked many miles with dogs. I pre-plan for their safety. I see way too many people hike unprepared w their dogs.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Here is an example of the abuse of police powers when it comes to your dog.
A dog trained primarily with treats will never be well trained

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Just got another great referral from one of my dog training students. Gives meaning to what I do
You have accomplished a lot when a dog will precisely & happily obey commands just to get your affection
Have you ever noticed how pit bulls often have almost cat-like agility?
Ever consider building a lap / exercise pool for your dog? Here is where to find a contractor:
There are some important safety precautions you should take before going camping with your dog

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Old dogs need diets high in anti- oxidants
Fall and winter holidays are here. Train your dogs to be well mannered so nothing tragic happens

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good dog training is an art, operant conditioning isn't (which is why it is a limited theory of behavior)
Iran is implementing a new crackdown on dog owners. Muslims aren't anti-dog, just the cultists in positions of police power
If you are a terrible driver don't put your dog in your car
You should get seat belts for your dog or they will die in an accident
How well a person cares for their do, or yours, says a lot about their character, so pay attention

Monday, August 30, 2010

ALL dogs need periodic dog training tune ups

Sunday, August 29, 2010

It often seems logical to treat pets like children, except they aren't. They're dogs

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dog Bite Insurance?
Here is an excellent and perceptive analysis of the dog bite scam by insurance companies. Hat Tip: KC Dog Blog
Give your dog a command. If s/he does it well, give verbal praise. If your dog doesn't wag a happy tail, you don't have a trained dog yet

Friday, August 27, 2010

Some things in dog training require personal style and artistry - things that can't be taught, only coached
It looks effortless when I work with your dog because I train dogs all the time. Skill takes coaching, effort and time
I have a lot of "tools" in my dog training "toolbox". No one method is always the *best* in all circumstances
Going Nuts Over Barking Dogs
I have written of this before, neighbors who go absolute nuts when they hear a barking dog. I know of actual cases. In this case, the story says that this goofy neighbor PURPOSELY antagonized the dogs next door in order to get them barking and in trouble. Read the whole thing here

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Every dog has a story
I hate it when people let their dogs drink out of the toilet. Isn't it obvious why?
Want a cool giant dog? Check out the Leonberger
Not all dog foods are that good for your dog
Cats and dogs can live together peacefully, but normally only if they were introduced to living that way when very young. Sometimes it doesn't work out though
I'm not opposed to most dogs being allowed on furniture, but with some dogs it isn't a good idea
I always appreciate watching a well trained dog
If you are a dog hater, there's something wrong with you. Go get counseling

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lots of dogs die because they escape the premises. What have you done to prevent this happening to your dog?
One of the major reasons dogs end up in shelters is because of behavioral problems. Dog training is a life saver.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Every dog you see in any movie made at least 10 years ago is now dead. Dogs lives are very fragile, so treat them with respect and kindness
Question: did you make thos a good day for your dog?
Its a lot easier to prevent behavior problems in your dog than to fix them when they have become a long term habit; but you can
Family problems can often result in dog problems
There are good ways and bad ways to introduce a new dog into your home
A well trained dog doesn't look well trained in the hands of an untrained owner
Being a good dog owner is recognizing when you are in over your head. And then hiring a professional dog trainer

Friday, August 20, 2010

Akita Mauls Girl
Horrific. However, this goes to prove that ANY breed can attack, not just "pit bulls". Breed bans won't fix this. Sometimes animals act like animals.
Read My Favorite Dog Blog
I read a lot of dog news, pretty much on a daily basis. My favorite dog blog is KC Dog Blog. Check it out

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Do You Read My Twitters?
I have a dog Twitter page. I often post to it more than once per day. You can check it out HERE.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lame Excuses
There are a lot of (lame) excuses for not training your dog on a daily basis. C'mon guys, it's not fair to not train your dog and then expect your dog to be well mannered or obedient.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Have Some Fun With Your Dog!
As a professional dog trainer, I'm often suggesting ideas to my students. One of those suggestions regards fun things you can do with your dog.
A dog is more than a walking carpet that you feed a couple of times a day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dog Food Recall
Dick Van Patten's "Natural Balanced" Dog food has recalled some of its product over concerns about salmonella.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Animal Cruelty Syndrome?
I'm wary of creating new psychological disorders since they can create new classes of those with legally protected "disabilities". That being said, is there a justification for defining "Animal Cruelty Syndrome"? I do know this: that people who will abuse animals have something seriously wrong going on in their heads, and can cause a whole lot harm to animals and people. It's something that has attracted the attention of law enforcement, animal welfare activists, and the psycholocial community.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hard Decisions
A man died trying to save his dog from drowning in a canal. These situations are always hard, and it's easy to say what you would or wouldn't do if you were faced with the same crisis. My rule in advance is always people safety first, animal safety second. This man had a wife (no mention if he had kids). They were relying on him, too. Sometimes you have to do hard things in life. What would you do in this situation?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sick Pets And No Money

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cesar Millan Getting Divorced
Not good news. I hate divorce, yet I've been divorced. It really sucks. I wish both of them well.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Fat Dog Seized By Government

I'm not sure how I feel about this, from a legal standpoint. In my opinion, overfeeding a dog to the point it is suffering like this is clearly abuse. I support using the law to save abused animals. On the other hand, does this kind of thing set a precedent for other seizures of animals for reasons that aren't so serious? I just don't know. So, I guess I'll just wait and see...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Be Wise When Pooping Your Pup

Here's another story of someone who allegedly went bonkers and shot someone because they let their pup poop on their prized lawn. First off, if you have a dog, be as inconspicuous as possible when pottying your dog, and pick up after your dog. Second, if you are a nut about your yard and you don't want people pooping their pets in your yard, instead of packing a pistol, why not just build a fence? We all have to get along in this world, and nothing was worth the death of a human being over this kind of thing.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Marmaduke Movie
Here we go again. The new Marmaduke Movie comes out in theaters on June 4th. And once again, you can bet that people will go out and buy Great Danes without thinking about what they are getting into. Great Danes are a LOT of dog, not only in size but in cost and in terms of behavior. These were dogs designed to tackle big game. A number of years ago, I heard of two Great Danes attacking and mauling a black bear... Think about that some time. Danes aren't always good with other dogs, and you definitely don't want to get two of the same sex in the same home. Further, you MUST go to a reputable breeder, not a pet store or backyard breeder. With health problems galore, there are also dangerous behavioral instabilities that come along with certain colors, especially the merles.
That being said, I like the breed and have trained a number of them. But, they are not for the casual, impulse buyer. I already anticipate hearing stories of these dogs filling the shelters in about a year from now.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

New Dog Web Page
I have been working for months on a new dog training web page. It features a lot of new content, a more user friendly look and navigation profile, and a new shopping cart. You can now order online lessons, dog food, and a variety of dog supplies. And there is a ton of other new stuff coming.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't Feed Dogs Bones!
I've told numerous people that it is a mistake to give dogs bones from your dinner plate. They aren't the same as the ones you get from a pet store, nor are they similar to the bones a wolf would gnaw on in the wild. And sure enough, here is a warning from no less than the FDA confirming the same.'
Hat Tip:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

City Bans Dogs From Park = Bans Dogs From City

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is This What Government Is For?

Now the Government wants competence tests before you can be a dog owner.

When is this going to STOP?!!! Government like this is tyranny.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Operant Conditioning Fails Again

A lot of dog trainers have been watching the SeaWorld story (killer whale kills trainer) with interest. There has been a raging argument within the training world regarding the efficacy of so-called "purely positive", "cruelty free", training, focusing on operant conditioning and clickers. I have stated again and again that the theory of operant conditioning is obsolete, a truncated, limited, myopic view of behavior. And this incident proves it once again. Training animals is more than something as simple as putting a quarter in the machine and getting your candy bar.

I work with dangerous dogs on a regular basis. Many are treated quite well, and still end up dangerous. Why is that? I know, and so do a lot of more common sense trainers.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Breeds Joining AKC

They are the Leonberger, the Boykin spaniel, Icelandic sheepdog, Redbone and Blue Tick coonhounds and the Cane Corso.

Cool stuff. Except for the Leonberger, these aren't "new" breeds at all... some are pretty well established, just not very well known.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Ban Dogs Or Banish Criminals?

Gang members 'used ferocious dogs to attack four teenagers before stabbing a boy to death'.

Gang members used dogs and weapons to kill. They wouldn't be having these kinds of problems if they'd legalize guns and self defense in Britain, and start putting these losers away for life instead of cushy prison sentences. You can bet the dogs will be sentenced to death and the criminals will be out in a couple of years to kill again. This was animal abuse by these thugs.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One More Reason To Hate Venezuela

They have banned pit bulls. The new law excluded banning animal sacrifice for religious purposes; there has been a huge increase in animal sacrifice because of religions such as Santeria.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dog Bans Don't Work, But Politicians Keep Trying

Vicious dog breeds could be subject to an import ban and neutering policy in order to wipe them out in Denmark. The fourteen breeds considered dangerous by the committee include: Pit Bull Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentine, Tosa Inu, Boerboel, Kangal, the Central Asian, Caucaisna and South Russian varieties of Ovcharka, Tornjak and Sarplaninac.

There is a reason why there is a Bill of Rights amending the US Constitution... because government always keeps trying to accumulate more power over individuals over time. The Soviet Union had laws against pretty much everything. Same with North Korea today. Would you want to live in a place like that? More laws don't make a better society. Dog breed bans do not make the public safer, just like gun bans don't make the public safer. They have dangerous dog bans and gun bans in England. Has that made England safer? No. London is a mad house these days. It is illegal to defend yourself, and you are more likely to end up dead or in prison if you do defend yourself or someone else there. They've turned into a country of pussies.

Monday, January 11, 2010

You Can't Train A Dog By Watching TV

I have had to tell a number of students to STOP WATCHING THE DOG WHISPERER, Cesar Millan. They are trying to do what he does and are messing up their dogs and worsening their dog's problems.

You can't become a dog trainer or behaviorist just by watching his show.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weird Dog Behaviors

I've been aware, from the beginning, that many strange dog behaviors have a genetic component. I find it sad that there are quick buck artists out there that claim they can fix any dog's behavioral problems. They can't. Maybe you can manage the problems, but you can't "cure" what can't be cured. I saw a dog trainer's vehicle recently with a sign that said they "guaranteed" they could solve any behavioral problem... what does that say about either their "expertise" or their ethics?

Here's a good example:

Dogs suffering under canine compulsive disorders have issues with common behaviors such as grooming, tail chasing, blanket sucking or pacing and circling... scientists discovered that the canine chromosome 7 location within the neural cadherin-2 gene, or CDH2, confers a high risk of susceptibility to the disorder.

Read an excerpt of the actual study results.

So, what do you do if your dog does some strange stuff? Ask an expert... but be sure to ask the right person, otherwise your dog will suffer and so will your wallet.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Start Training!

You ARE planning on training that new pup of yours, right? Delaying the training of a pup just gives the dog more time to develop bad habits and behaviors, and increases the chances the dog will be given away to a shelter.

Some Benchmarks:

You should start house training and puppy manners lessons from 8 weeks of age.
Socialization should start the day you bring your puppy home... with other animals and with a variety of people and situations.
By 4 months of age, the pup should be already on track with the house training.
No later than 4 months of age, you should enroll your dog in obedience classes.
By 6 months of age, your dog should not be peeing or pooping in the home, and should go potty on command. Your pup should be pretty well mannered, and good with guests. Your pup should be regularly playing with other friendly dogs on a weekly basis. Your dog should know how to walk on a leash without pulling. Your dog should be able to Sit Stay, Down Stay, Come when called, and Heel... on and off leash in moderately distracting environments.
By 2 years of age, your dog should be able to obey you within 100 yards, off leash, with distractions, be good with other dogs and people, completely trustworthy in the home (no accidents and no destructive behaviors).

Is your pup on track?