When working with people and dogs throughout the years I have had heard many times a statement that would always make me wonder why my clients were not achieving the end result that I was able to do with their dog. The statement is, “My dog behaves so much better when you are working him/her.” It started me thinking on how I could communicate to my clients what was the key ingredient that could give them the same results I was achieving. As a dog trainer my goals are many but one of the most important beside a well trained happy dog was an owner who was impressed with my services and time I spent with them. When working with a dog I like to help them mentally, physically and spiritually everyday. Mentally is challenging a dog to learn. I always start with basic obedience: heel, sit, stay, come, and down. I also add in some fun games that helps a dog understand what is needed from them. Challenging a dog mentally makes a smarter and happier animal. If you don’t challenge a dog mentally they can get bored and become destructive for instance, chewing up sprinkler head, digging big holes, tearing up carpet or ruining furniture just to name a few ways a dog can act out. They can become assertive and challenge you or family members by jumping on people, barking, growling, snapping, or even biting someone. When you work your dog in basic obedience and follow through with the commands correctly you will establish a hierarchy with your dog which is one of the key ingredients when living in a dog’s world. Remember we have to enter into their world which means understanding pack mentality. You need to establish a hierarchy in your family and the dogs are under all the humans in the family. Than you have to understand the hierarchy between your dogs if you have more than one. This is one of the key elements in bringing in harmony between humans and dog families.
When working with your dog physically that means challenging their bodies with physical exercise. When choosing an exercise program make sure your dog is physically fit. In today’s world a dog can have joint problems such as hip dysphasia, elbow dysphasia, or heart murmurs, seizures to name a few. Make sure your vet has given your dog a physical before starting any strenuous exercise program. Some exercises you can do with your dog are jogging, walking, swimming, hiking, agility, or fly ball. Also when exercising a puppy make sure it is not an exercise that stresses their joints at such an early age. If you have a high energy dog challenge them physically before you work them mentally. By harnessing their energy level it will help them be calmer when working them mentally.
When working with a dog’s spirit to me that includes loving your dog, feeding them the best of foods, providing clean water, grooming, providing a good home (shelter), and making sure they are in the best of health. It also includes the mental and physical aspect of their lives.
When owning a dog I believe the best way to achieve harmony with your dog is to daily exercise them, mentally challenge them, make sure their health is good and love them for their unique character.
Dogs bring so much enjoyment into our lives make sure their daily life is complete and you will have a companion for life.
In October 2008 a city worker was mauled, and nearly killed by two dogs while he was walking in a neighborhood during his lunch hour. The dogs attacked this man for nearly one hour; he was hospitalized for a month and had several surgeries to repair the damages done to his body.
The City of Phoenix decided to have an educational course to help educate the workers on the streets on canine safety. They never wanted to see another worker go through this horrible experience. I was asked to conduct these seminars, and our goal was to outreach 700 workers in two months.
During this time I began to realize that everyone could benefit from this knowledge because dog attacks are not uncommon and it would empower people to know their options.
You can start training your puppy at 8 weeks of age
The sooner you start training the sooner your puppy will begin to learn good behaviors. Because they are just puppies their attention span is much shorter than the normal 20 minutes allowed for adolescent or adult dogs. The ideal training schedule is to work your puppy on leash for 10 minutes in the a.m. and 10 minutes in the p.m. for at least 5 to7 days a week. During the week the puppy owner can have mini sessions in the house working on other basic obedience skills practicing 5 minutes at a time. During this time the puppy will begin to take on good house manners.
Example: Have your puppy sit before you give him his meal. You can also practice the come command in this manner as well by calling your puppy’s name each time you feed him. Young puppies like your attention and will usually come when called. Creating good habits now will allow obedience training to go much more smoothly later on.
Often I hear my puppy is chewing up my shoes, my sprinklers, my hands, and my credit cards, etc. How to stop this destruction? One of the golden rules is never leave a puppy unattended when at home and restrain the puppy or dog when you can’t watch him. This way bad behavior won’t be developing when you are not watching your puppy. Crates, kennels, x-pens, and leashes are some of the tools used to restrain a puppy. In the meantime, you can start teaching your puppy through the seeding game which toys are his/hers and which items are not.
How to teach your puppy or dog not to touch something: Read More
When a puppy mouths, he is constantly putting his mouth on your hand, your arm, leg or anything that belongs to you, including shoes, socks, clothes, etc.
Reasons Puppies Mouth:
- Teething. The first set of teeth comes in 3-4 weeks after birth. Permanent set of teeth start coming in at 6 weeks and this process can last until the dog is 6 months of age. During this time a dog’s mouth can become very sore, inflamed or bled. Mouthing is a way a dog can relieve some of this pain.
Imagine walking in your neighborhood and it is a beautiful day the wind is blowing slightly. A car goes by the noise distracts you. You walk a little farther, you smell beef barbecuing and it makes your mouth water. You hear children in the distance laughing and calling to one another. All of these noises, smells, sights and touches are distractions. The same is true for our dogs or puppies. They are distracted by smells, sights, sounds or the touch sensations. The reactions are not much different then ours. Dogs may sniff at the different smells. Bark at something they may want to warn you about, or turn to look at something. The only time this may seem to bother us is if they pull us by the leash, bark too loudly, or cause us to become impatient. How do you work with a distraction that may be causing your dog to over react? One of the rules is to go the opposite direction of the distraction but this can ruin your walk if you are constantly going the opposite direction. Here is a list of dog training suggestions we at “Angel Dogs” put together to help you learn how to work with distractions.
How to Diminish Puppy or Dog Distractions: Read More
Imagine you just arrived home and your dog or puppy starts jumping on you almost knocking you down or scratching on your leg. At times like this you can get frustrated and upset by this type of greeting. Now imagine being your dog you are so excited seeing your owner that you want to give him a big greeting so you jump to see his face. Kneecaps or ankles are not exactly the place to shed such affection. So let’s jump to see my owners face. These greetings are not meant to hurt you but unfortunately at times they can.
Reasons dogs jump:
- To play.
- Domination-alpha posture.
- To teach pups how to act as a predator.
- To challenge other pack members.