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.