Friday, December 14, 2018

Officer Demoted For Dropping K-9 Off At Animal Shelter.

"A Jackson (MS) police officer has been demoted after dropping his K-9 off at a local animal shelter."

I truly think this was a dishonorable and negligent thing to do. I have a great deal of respect for law enforcement. It is one of the toughest jobs out there. One of the difficulties is having to be a role model to the public for lawful, decent, moral behavior. I don't know how anyone could think that abandoning a retired service dog at an animal shelter would be considered a good thing.

As a citizen, I expect more from our police officers.

Animal shelters, at best, are still not a great place for any pet. Often, pets are killed for lack of space. Older dogs are especially vulnerable. This dog didn't deserve a potential death sentence. Even the Jackson Police Department didn't think it was right...

"“The Jackson Police Department respects and holds our canines with high regard just as we do any other officer within our department... They are family, and we do not feel they deserve anything less than a loving home in retirement.” The department has “immediately implemented protocol which requires quarterly welfare checks for all canines, both active duty and retired.”


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Man Shoots Dog As He Hops Fences Running From Police

I have said this numerous times... a guard dog is now obsolete. We don't know if the dog in this yard was guarding the owner's property, but it was no defense against an armed attacker.


My heart aches for the dog and its owner. So very sad

You Reap What You Sow

If you allow your children to tease and threaten your dog, your dog will eventually attack your children. You will then get what you deserve... and the victims will be the children and your dog.

How many child dog bite cases are a result of this kind of behavior? We will never know. But it is probably a lot more than we will ever find out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Man Shoots Dog For Peeing In His Yard

Today, we see a horrific story of a dog that was shot and killed for peeing in someone's yard.

First, let's talk about using a gun to shoot a dog in a circumstance like this. Your only legal way of using a gun is to first, do it legally. As a general rule, you can only use a gun to defend your life. You can't use it to defend property, such as your lawn.

I recommend watching this legal opinion: THE GUN LAWYER: Defending your Pets with a Gun (VIDEO)

Reading the article... what do we see here?

He shot and killed a Chihuahua with a rifle. What has he been charged with? "Deputies searched Ramos' home and found AR-15 and AK-47 rifles that are banned in California. Ramos also faces charges of possession of banned assault weapons and negligent discharge of a firearm."

What should be the punishment? Love to hear your suggestions







Sunday, December 09, 2018

New Puppies

It's that time of the year. I have friends getting a puppy in a week. I have numerous students getting puppies over the next few weeks.

I got a Christmas puppy once. The experience was a total joy for me... and the entire family. Plus, we all had time to get to know him.

Some say that we shouldn't promote puppy adoptions right now. However, many great dogs get overlooked at the shelters and are put down because of overcrowding. This is EXACTLY the time to consider getting a puppy! Go do it. Adopt, save a life, make a home!

Visualization For Successful Dog Ownership

In order to have the best outcome for your dog's training, I recommend setting some future goals and creating some mental imagery of what that future will look like. Without a dream, then how can that dream come true?

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. These days, my health isn't the same as it used to be. I'm more tired. My feet hurt all the time. I get weird autonomic reflexes from time to time, and phantom pains. Contrast this to the way I was most of my life... I was someone who hadn't seen a doctor since I was in my mid teens. I could work all day and into the night, day after day. I felt great all the time, in shape, no injuries, great cardio, strong... you name it. This new situation has developed into a journey, a quest, to get back to what I know is my normal healthy self. I have goals of how I would like to feel, things I would like to do again, places I would like to visit, shoes I would like to wear, and a sense of inner peace about my health.

The visualization, that mental imagery, came in handy on Friday at the gym. I go to work out, but also it is ongoing physical therapy. But, I didn't feel like it that day. I was tired, a bit cranky.

I went anyway. I did every repetition, every minute, full intensity. I never let myself quit (if the instructor says 100 repetitions, I would never do 99... doing that would make me a quitter, and once you quit, it is easier to quit a second time, and a third, and so on). I'm there to get well and to stay as healthy as possible. My goals are stronger than my current situation. My doctor likes me as a patient... I do it all, he knows my goal is to be healed, not just to tolerate this mess.

Responsible dog ownership, and having a well trained dog, work the same way. I recommend first getting a vision of how you'd like your dog ownership experience to develop and turn out. Find meaningful life goals. What are your days and nights going to be like? Is your dog going to be fit and healthy? Plan on taking your dog to work? Plan on taking your dog on vacations? How about doing therapy dog work, or is this dog going to be your emotional support dog? What is this dog going to be like with strangers, friends, family, other pets, and other animals? What are the minimum standards you want in terms of obedience? I think it is very important to set these goals.

Those goals, visualizations, that imagery will cause you to not quit on your dog. It will give you that energy to see through all the training to have a well mannered, safe, controllable, obedient, and loving dog.

I have seen, and worked with, some people who put in a half baked effort training and living with their dogs. It's kind of like eating lukewarm soup, stale bread, or wilted vegetables. Not so great. It's like taking something that should have been wonderful, and then neglecting it, and then settling for less. I just don't see the point. You know, puppies start out has happy fun loving bundles of fur. Then, either the people build on that, or they wreck their dogs. Shelters are fed up with neglectful dog owners who dump their dogs because they were quitters, losers. The happy dog might instead now be a bag of ribs, maybe have some scars, have some emotional traumas, very little training... and someone has to come in and save that pup and try to patch up these emotional, training and health wounds.

Successful dog owners start with a vision of successful dog ownership. I ask new puppy owners what they envision, and the good ones already have an idea of what they want. That's why they have already hired me, are ready to write the check, and have their calendars open so we can schedule the lessons out into the coming weeks. I know pretty quickly, from the first appointment, the dogs that are going to turn out the best. It is always with these types of visionary people. They get it. They love dogs and they love their new dog.

This is also true when dealing with dogs with, sometimes severe, behavioral issues. I'm thinking right now of a couple of dog aggressive pit bulls I'm working with. The owners are motivated, we are almost to the end of the programs they signed up for, and these dogs are no longer reacting to strange dogs in public. The owners knew what they wanted, visualized the end they wanted, and it made them dig in and do all the homework. Visualization is one of the secret tools for turning around difficult dog problems. Just having a set of exercises, or enrolling in some program, isn't enough. There has to be the follow through, especially when you start out with a dog with a lot of problems.

So, your homework, today, is to set those goals, visualize the future you want for your dog. Then, if we work together, let's set a plan to get there. It might not happen tomorrow, and for severe cases, might not happen for months or even over a year, but most likely you will get there. That's what I want for you, what I visualize for you and your dog.

"See" you soon!

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Christmas Dog Training

I had this thought today: How many dog owners need some quick training tips to deal with Christmas, which is only a couple of weeks away?

First, there are the Christmas puppy tips. Lots of people get puppies at this time of the year. I have friends that just informed me yesterday, that a new puppy is on the way! That was quite unexpected. And I have a new student which will begin lessons in a week, in anticipation of a new puppy which will arrive on January 3rd. Getting on the training early is a good idea. Often, new pets get a lot of personal time with their families these next couple of weeks, before everything gets back to normal after New Years. Proper training, invested now, pays off when things get busy and everyone gets back to work and school. This is especially true regarding puppy training, such as house training.

Second, we have the issue of people coming over to visit, and the potential for misbehavior, or even aggression, if the visitors do something inappropriate with the dog. There is still time to deal with these things. We can get on the jumping, running out the door, dropping things on command, house training, and so forth.

Christmas dog training is a good idea for a lot of dogs. It is a good investment, and the timing is often perfect to address many issues.

If you are interested, then obviously, call or text me to set up a time and date.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Dog Behavior Expert Witness

I recently testified in a dog bite case as a dog behaviorist expert witness. This case culminated in a 3 hour deposition and 3 hours of videotaped testimony for the jury. I don’t know yet the outcome of the case. So, here are a few thoughts regarding what it is like and why I did it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Is It Necessary For Dog Owners To Know Behavioral Terminology?

How important is it for the average pet owner to understand the science (and controversies) regarding animal behavior? Let’s start with this excerpt from a textbook…

Operant conditioning is an experimental science of behavior. Strictly speaking, the term operant conditioning refers to a process in which the frequency of occurrence of a bit of behavior is modified by the consequences of the behavior. Over the years, however, operant conditioning has come to refer to an entire approach to psychological science. This approach is characterized in general by a deterministic and experimental analysis of behavior. It is also characterized by a concentration on the study of operant or instrumental behavior, although not to the exclusion of the study of instinctive and reflexive behavior. As an approach to the study of behavior, operant conditioning consists of a series of assumptions about behavior and its environment; a set of definitions which can be used in the objective, scientific description of behavior and its environment; a group of techniques and procedures for the experimental study of behavior in the laboratory; and a large body of facts and principles which have been demonstrated by experiment. Operant conditioning is concerned with the relationship between the behavior of organisms and their environment.” [Introduction To Experimental Analysis Of Behavior]

Now, do you know how to get your dog to stop barking at the mailman? To not fight with the dog next door? To not drool and pace when left alone? To Come when called, off leash, and in public? Or to get the kids to not run around teasing the dog? I really don’t think so. I figure it is my job to dig through all of this theory and then show you how to train your dog and fix behavioral issues. Obedience and behavior classes shouldn’t be like a college PhD class on biology, ecology, ethology, sociology, and psychology...

Kids And Dogs, Teaching And Supervising Boundaries

Parents need to supervise and instruct their kids, and visiting kids and parents, regarding activities they can, and should not, do with the family dog. Unfortunately, most people leave all this up to chance instead of purposely teaching and enforcing appropriate boundaries. That’s why a lot of kids end up injured. Furthermore, many parents wait until it is too late, after the child has been bitten to address the dog’s behavior and obedience issues... (More)

Monday, October 01, 2018

Police: 19-year-old shoots, kills puppy during walk

Why would anyone do this kind of thing?



 You really have to wonder what kind of spiritual and psychological emptiness drives someone to shoot and kill a puppy... Concepcion De La Ros was standing on the second-floor balcony of an apartment building when police said he shot the dog, named Princess. The puppy had been walking with its owners, who didn’t realize what happened until Princess began to bleed from the mouth.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Deputy wants to adopt ‘Bud,’ the puppy he rescued in a drug bust

Cops are good guys... wants to adopt this pup... "So, it only takes 28 seconds to fall in love with an animal, and this particular deputy fell very hard for the puppy when he rescued him," Silva said.

What Should I Do Regarding Dogs and Coyotes?

I get occasional questions regarding coyotes. It isn’t unusual to have dog and coyote encounters in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Many of the urban coyotes in Phoenix are unafraid of dogs or humans, and it isn’t unusual to hear stories of coyotes killing or attempting to kill pets, including dogs and cats. They are definitely a danger to runaway or stray dogs. They will also hop over the typical block walls in suburban areas to snatch a dog, or to dig under a fence. It isn’t unusual to find coyote scat in your backyard if you have a seasonal home. I have heard that in north Scottsdale, there have been incidents where the coyotes have been bold enough to try and grab dogs that are being walked on a leash. Lastly, some coyotes act in ways that are abnormally threatening. The question becomes what to do. Unfortunately, the answers are often not what people want to hear.

Stressed people are likely to have the most ill-behaved pets

According to a new study, happy owners tend to have the happiest dogs. Scientists say the inverse is also true — with stressed owners less likely to spend time with their animal companions, causing them anxiety and stress. These pets are also likely to be the most ill-behaved because stressed owners react badly to their dogs misdeeds and do not have the time needed to train them.

FDA Links Popular Flea, Tick Medications To Neurological Problems In Dogs, Cats

Some flea and tick medications can cause adverse reactions in dogs and cats, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. Some animals receiving drugs in the isoxazoline class, including products sold under the brand names Bravecto, Nexgard and Simparica, have experienced adverse events such as muscle tremors, ataxia and seizures, the FDA says.

Best Scottsdale AZ Dog Trainer, Dog Training, Behaviorist

I am a premier Scottsdale dog trainer and behaviorist. I am a well known and respected  dog trainer and behaviorist for the entire metropolitan area. You can see, by searching the internet, I am asked by the local TV media about dog issues. I am well known in the animal rescue world, and am the Founder of Citizens Animal Welfare Society. I am co-founder of PATCHES, a project to build and operate a privately run animal shelter to supplement what the County does. I do expert witness work for attorneys. I have a partner in another business where we offer specialized therapy dog training and support to various organizations. I don’t use harsh training methods. I’ve trained all ages and a wide variety of breeds in all parts of town. This is a central business area for me, and I’m in the vicinity of your place almost every day. Setting up lessons is as simple as letting me know what you are dealing with, and then arranging an evaluation or lessons, from puppy lessons, to obedience, to behavior modification. I can do lessons at most times of the day, and sessions will be scheduled in relation to where my other appointments are each day (because I have to plan a weekly route, and I HATE being late).

Situational Awareness Training For Pet And Therapy Dogs

I teach Situational Awareness in my Dog Obedience classes, starting with Basic Obedience all the way through Advanced Obedience. Situational awareness is being able to clearly see and perceive what is happening, or could happen, when you are with your dog. It is a risk management strategy, to prevent you, your dog, and innocent others from being harmed. No, I’m not a police officer, professional guard dog trainer, or martial artist. But, I’ve been in enough situations with dogs over the years to have developed sufficient street smarts to incorporate citizen dog handler situational awareness skills into my dog training programs.

Friday, March 09, 2018

You Can’t Outsmart Your Training

You can’t outsmart your training. In other words, in an emergency situation, you and your dog will only respond as well as the level of your training.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Man Falls 500 Feet To His Death Rescuing His Dog from Seaside Cliff

I have hiked thousands of miles, often with one of my dogs. I've had a few close calls in which my off leash dog could have died falling off a cliff or doing some other dangerous thing. Fortunately, all my dogs were well trained, and I was able to save them.

Anyone who hikes has to be prepared for this kind of emergency. But the same is true in the city. Dogs can get away from us. Unless you have trained for emergencies, however, your dog might die... and you might die. This is why I always train dogs in public locations, for the sake of the dog, but to also prepare the owners for emergencies. I'm always stressing safe practices and situational awareness.

A good Sit or Down command is essential, for example. Freezing a dog in place so you can get to them. So are directional commands at a distance, much like what is done with hunting dogs.

Unfortunately, sometimes training fails, or an owner gets past the limits of safety in trying to rescue their dog... something bad happened here, all we know so far is the following:

In this case, a tragedy occurred... "DALY CITY (KPIX) – A heartbreaking recovery unfolded at Thornton State Beach Monday after a 67-year-old man fell down a 500-foot cliff while he was trying to rescue his dog. The Golden Gate National Park ranger said the man’s dog got away from him, and when he tried to go after it he slipped to his death"

You have to assume something like this could happen to YOU AND YOUR DOG. You must have a plan, train for it, and be careful of the risks. This sad outcome could come your way, so what are you doing now to prevent it?


Monday, February 19, 2018

It's official: Pets benefit our mental health

"A new meta-analysis of 17 academic papers finds evidence that having a pet benefits people with mental health problems. The research also reviews the pet owners' testimonials, laying out the various ways that pets offer them much-needed solace."

I have trained a number of emotional support dogs. They provide necessary emotional support and allow mobility for people who would otherwise, in many cases, end up as shut in's. Now... if we can only get the public and regulators to recognize this...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Citizens Animal Welfare Society

I am the founder and CEO of Citizens Animal Welfare Society. Approximately 4 1/2 years ago, I became so concerned about the massive number of innocent and adoptable animals being killed by Maricopa Animal Care And Control, the second largest shelter system in the US, I began private meetings to develop a plan to reform animal control.

Today, we are seeking to build our own animal shelter, and to continue to pursue a public / private partnership with Maricopa County, such as was done with Austin Pets Alive! and the KC Pet Project in Kansas City.

While there have been significant improvements over the past year, as a result of community outrage at what has happened here in the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area, the goal of turning Maricopa into a "no kill" county will not happen without private animal rescue support.

Learn more about our efforts at our Citizens Animal Welfare Society Facebook page

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

MY CURRENT MENTOR

Here's a secret. Prospective students want to know some things about my background before hiring me to train their dogs. That is normal. I expect that and can give references.

Which leads me to the thought... who is my current mentor? Every good trainer has people they learned from, mentors. My best mentors for the past decade have been... YOU AND YOUR DOGS. I have learned more from you than any other source during that time. You have made me better, made me strive for higher heights, to study and work harder every year.