A lot of people look confused when l tell them to implement structures in their life.
They think it is very odd that they should put the dog in commands all the time. (Who does that?)
They can not comprehend why they should not give their dog excessive affection (isn’t that why we have dogs?)
And they cannot imagine how to tire out their dogs if they do not go to dog parks (l need to let my dog play to tire him out or else he won’t sleep!)
When l told them not to let
Dogs are being rehomed or put down daily because of behavioural issues. This is a fact.
It is also a fact that many of these dogs were once little puppies who were very loved by their owners.
One common mistake l have seen new owners (or even experienced dog people) make over and over again is their misunderstanding on “socialization”.
For some reason, many people mistakenly believe they need to find some doggie friends for their puppies, and they believe t
Think like a dog mother, not a fur mom.
Be extremely black and white, do not give your dog million shades of greys with excessive humanization.
Dogs are very simple.
Please don’t over complicate things by forcing them to be another species. #structure #leardership #socialization
You are like a mirror to your dog.
If you cannot stand being away from your dog for a second, your dog will likely also feel the same way and suffers separation anxiety.
If you are very emotional, your dog will likely be reactive, too.
Training can only help so much. You need to change.
Instead of being the mirror, you can be the role model.
If your dog is very obsessive, you can act independent.
If your dog is very reactive, you can be aloof and calm.
You can l
Harley just went back to Whistler BC after finishing his boarding here.
We just finished a lesson with his lovely owners, who came here after an epic flight back from Europe.
We went over something in the lesson that l like to talk a little bit about here.
In order for Harley to feel safe and stop reacting, he needs to believe that his human can absolutely take care of the situations for him. This is about trust.
There is a part of trust that is not often talked about
Many owners were told they should use desensitization and counter conditioning when they have a reactive dog.
They were told they should never use correction, they were told they should never punish the dog for reacting, they were told they should never make the dog uncomfortable.
I was one of those people years ago.
We were told we had to keep the bar opened so to speak whenever a dog appeared. We were told to pour high value treats onto a dog when another dog appeared
If you have to choose between giving up treating your dog like a human baby vs giving up your dog entirely, what would you choose? You may be surprised to know how many people l have met chose the latter instead.
“I feel so sad about giving up my dog...but l think he will be happier with someone else.”
Usually, what really happened is that the dog would have been really happy with the same person and would also behave much better if the owner could only stop humanizing th
I have seen so many owners who were afraid to correct their dogs.
Many of them have been to other training classes and they were told that if they corrected their dogs, their relationship would definitely be damaged and there would be fallouts and their dogs would turn on them.
I have met owners with scars all over their arms, ladies who could not wear bathing suits due to numerous scars on their thighs, seniors with cuts all over their faces after being pulled and dragge
Q: l spend awesome quality time with my dog when we snuggle on the sofa watching tv together. Other than that, what else do you recommend l do with my dog?
A: Spending quality time with your dog is not the same as coddling or snuggling with your dog.
When l think of quality time, l think of spending time to train my dog, walk my dog, and play with my dog.
These activities can challenge my dog, educate my dog, and encourage my dog.
They are “quality” because they can e
Many puppies are overwhelmed by the amount of attention they receive once they arrive in their new homes.
When they are with their mother and litter mates, the dog mother would make sure the puppies are advocated for; she will make sure they have their privacy and down time so they can feel safe.
However, very often, once the puppy arrives in the human’s home, everyone comes to fuss around the puppy, they give the puppy lots of attention but no one takes up the role of be
Our human view of freedom is often about letting our dog do whatever he wants. For an anxious/fearful/timid dog, this could however be interpreted as not having a leader to follow with no clear set of rules to observe, which can make such a dog more confused and insecure. To a dog, freedom is about not having to doubt and worry. It is about having someone who can guide and protect them. When we allow our dogs lots of freedom, we are also asking them to make lots of decisions
Many owners tell me their dogs will not pay attention to them once they see another dog in public. Their dogs just totally ignore them. The owners would become totally irrelevant. Their dogs never come when called and are simply put, impossible to control. You have to be someone that your dog really wants to be with in order for your dog to love spending time with you. You cannot be that person if you hardly spend any quality time with your dog. Spending quality time is about
I like to take this opportunity to talk about the protocol of meeting a person or dog. I teach all my dogs to stay calmly by my side when a person/dog walks towards us. I also teach my dogs to engage in me. I teach them to wait for permission before they go say hi, if l choose to do so. Even if an off leash dog runs towards my dog in an off leash area and they want to play, my dog will stay by me until l give her the okay to engage. If l do not want them to say hi for whateve
Your dog has a personal bubble. It varies in sizes depending on where he is, how he feels, and what he is facing. As your dog's leader, you need to be very in tune with how big your dog needs that bubble to be at all time. If your dog sees a trigger and needs a bigger bubble (i.e. more personal space), you can creat that by staying further away from the trigger. Distance is the key. You can just walk around, turn 90 degree, or make a u turn, to increase distance. Lots of dogs
A dog is not a cat. If you want a well behaved dog, please walk your dog daily. I do at least 60% of my training and socialization when l am walking my dogs. I spend lots of time walking my dogs - I walk them in a pack, and l walk them one on one; l walk them on leash and off leash; l walk them structurally as well as unstructurally... During the walk, a dog gets to know me and build a relationship with me in an instinctual manner. He will read my body language and observe ho
This is Anja. She has a very intense ball drive. She will do anything for her ball and will run through fire to get it. When she sees her ball, nothing in the world matters. When we play ball, which is her favorite game in the world, l always use the opportunity to exercise her impulse control. I think of it like teaching her the meaning of the stop sign. I need her to learn how to take a moment to pause when she is very excited so she does not just get in high drive and fly
I am a strong advocate of zero on leash greeting. By that l mean when my dog is on leash we will not under any circumstances greet another dog in any form--no sniffing, no body contact, and no playing. Why? Because dogs are very black and white creatures. The more crystal clear the direction, the less stressed and confused they will feel. When my dogs are on leash they know it is not the time to get excited or concerned when they see another dog. There is no exception. This r
This is my dane at an elementary school playground when school was just out.
There were lots of kids screaming and running around. I was asked why l did not allow these kids to say hi, and why l didn't ask them to hand treats to my dane. Socialization is not about sniffing other dogs or being touched or fed by strangers--it is about exposure and how to build confidence and develop engagement through such exposure. Learning how to calmly coexist with lots of fast running and
Exercise is not just important because it can tire out your dog; structured play and exercise with your dog can build engagement and deepen your relationship as well. Engagement is about teaching your dog to look to you for what he wants and that includes when your dog wants to play. Teaching engagement can be lots of fun for everyone. In my case, whenever l go to the beach l always play some fun games with Anja so she gets into the habit of anticipating a fun game with me in
When I take my pack out for a walk, the last thing I want to do is to yank and drag them to where I want to go. I like to have a relaxing and peaceful walk whereas the dogs will follow and listen to me without any conflict. Trying to overpower them I can never win because they are more powerful than I am and weight more than me. These dogs all came to me with a list of problems. None of them could walk nicely on leash when they first came--they were all massive pullers. Now t