Are you SURE you are ready?
Thoughts about dog…
Useful? or not?
The next time you use voice navigation, imagine Siri telling you where NOT to turn, what street NOT to take, and to boot, she uses an accusatory tone with you. There you are, driving through a big, busy and unfamiliar city. You are a bit nervous, not sure how to get to your destination and Siri tells you things like, “No! Don’t turn there!” “Not that street!” “Not the next one, either!” Absent is all the information on which street to look for, how far away it is, which way you’ll be turning, etc. In other words, everything you need is missing.
Dogs' Best Friends are Often not Dogs
Time to get into shape!
Proper stretching, movement, and body awareness contribute to overall good health whether we're dog or human. Don’t wait for your dog to be injured before you teach him some beneficial “doga poses” – start now!
Here are two of my favorite “tricks” that carry with them some whopping physical benefits:
“Who’s your queen?”
What's up with that?
The cashier overheard a conversation I was having with the person behind me and gleaned that I was a dog trainer. She motioned me closer and said, under her smoky breath and with a snicker and a slight air of superiority, “My two rescue dogs didn’t need training. They came fully trained.” What could I say, but “um, that’s very nice. You are lucky.”
What's the Big Deal?
They race through them to go out, whether it’s the front door, the car door, the crate door or… well, pretty much any door. When someone comes through a door, all hell can break loose! Dogs can transform themselves from a lazy lump on the floor to a jumping, lunging, growling, barking, nipping, spinning, pacing crazy thing in two seconds flat. Why?
Portals to the World
How can this be possible?
Clicker training establishes a rock-solid line of communication based on simple cause and effect. The clicker – a small mechanical device - makes a sound that “marks” a behavior (the cause) and tells the animal precisely what he’s about to be “paid” for. The reward (the effect) that quickly follows strengthens the behavior, making the animal want to repeat it to get another click and reward.
Help your puppy learn "Survival Skills" instead.
“Sociallzation.” It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? When humans talk of socializing with each other, it carries a connotation of “party” or at the very least icing on the cake of the day-to-day routine. “Socializing,” when referring to puppy development is, however, so crucial to their long-term well-being that it should be renamed “survival training."
Are you and your house ready to bring that puppy home?
An in-depth guide for people planning to add (or who have recently added) a new puppy (or dog) to their household.
Puppy Comes Home Kit
How to prepare your household for when Puppy comes Home
"Don't Blame the Dog for Failing to Live up to Human Expectations." Chris Bach
Treats, snacks, food or reward: which is it?
We as a culture (or maybe as a species), have a strange hangup with food. Food fills us with emotions and assumptions and strange relationships (chocolate!). There are still a lot of people who have a hard time even considering using food for training, thinking it somehow will diminish the relationship of that perceived (ugh) alpha status we so strive to hold over our dogs. Food is quite simply a tool, just as fetch, attention, affection, praise and others are (or money, play, vacation, etc. are for humans). The difference is in how the dog values these things at any given moment.
Living with MUD and Dogs
Mud Season: the price we pay for living in Maine!
We try to be ready for it here at "Camp Logan." With multiple dogs in the house, it can be challenging to keep things clean when 8-20 dirty paws are coming through the door many times a day. Luckily, there are many options to help get us through this messy time of year.
Happy Super Dog Bowl!
We share a serious obsession with our canine friends: a passion about moving round things. Balls. Balls of all sizes and colors and textures incite incredible excitement from both species.
As we get older, we find ourselves “downsizing” in many different ways, one of which might be getting a smaller dog for our smaller living quarters. In fact, here in Loganland, our next dog will most likely be smaller than our 60# Standard Poodles.
A crate is simply a playpen with a roof.
Baby gates, cribs, bouncy chairs, playpens, safety latches, car seats, outlet covers, kid-safe containers…. these are just a few of the many ubiquitous items used to keep our young children safe; some even required by law. We accept the fact that 2 year old Tommy doesn't "know better" than to explore the cabinet under the sink, so we are proactive in installing safety knobs to keep him - and the items inside - safe. A lone toddler in a non-child-proofed room means disaster. Likewise, we don't allow toddlers to investigate their surroundings unsupervised.
Two dogs at the veterinary hospital. Two different approaches to training.
We recently found ourselves at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston with Dory, our 12 year old Standard Poodle. She was there for throat surgery and her humans were nervous, to say the least. It was tricky surgery and post-surgery might be challenging, too.
For many of us with dogs, it's not a happy time at all. In fact, we dread its arrival, can't wait for it to be over and would love to be able to crawl into a deep, dark, quiet cave with our beloved canine companion for the duration of what is supposed to be a celebratory time for our country.
On Dogs and Fireworks: An Unsafe Combination.
Hear that? Well, your dog hears a LOT more.
Consequence drives behavior... even with puppy biting!
Puppies use their mouths a lot to explore their world and it can be very painful for those at the receiving end. This behavior is a normal part of development - they need to mouth and chew as much as a human infant needs to teethe. At the same time, puppies must learn to respect human skin and clothing and understand where the line is so that they don't develop a joy of "mouthiness." They can grow into this behavior rather than out of it!
Leashed interactions = bad mojo
Diana's Bad Rule
"Why aren't dogs allowed to meet and greet on leash?" is a familiar question I get. I have a rule against dogs interacting on leash - even in my puppy classes. Some people are not pleased at all with my rule, but I know the dogs were very appreciative of it, and it is written uniquely for them!
First of all, why should they have to? Besides their humans getting misplaced warm fuzzies about how cute it is for their dogs to "make friends," meeting on leash doesn't offer a lot of positives from the dogs' perspective.
Anytime your dog wants something is the perfect time to train!
How true it is. If we have conditioned a lot of “wants” into our dogs and we are in control of access to them, we have so very many options available to us! Take the food bowl, for instance… it’s a common thing to have rules around when and where a dog can eat his “meal.” If you don’t have any or want to get to the next level, here’s a little training video I did years ago that can help. Even if your dog already does a sit/wait, there are lots of other things you can do with this exercise.