Training Tip: Helping your Dog Cope After an Emergency

Emergencies are stressful for everyone involved. For our pets, they will be confused and potentially scared from all of the activity and stress of their families. They may be left behind, rushed out into new environments or placed somewhere strange on their own. This is hard on everyone and the stress can have an impact on your dog’s emotional and behavioural well-being. Below are some simple ways you can help to ensure you minimize the impact of the stress after an emergency. Read more

The dogma of Alone Training

Having your dog accustomed to being behind a gate (or door, ex-pen, etc.) can be helpful in many situations. It allows the dog a quiet place away from potentially stressful activity and gives you time to remove them when you cannot be fully supervising them. Preparing your dog to feel comfortable when being left alone will prove to be a useful skill throughout their lives. The steps to accustom them to a gate are: Read more

The dogma of the “Drop It” Cue

The ‘drop it’ cue is one that we consider a potential life-saving skill for your dog. This teaches your dog to release an item in their mouth when they hear you say ‘drop it’ (or any cue you would like to say such as ‘give’, ‘mine’, etc). This could be something that could be dangerous or fatal for your dog, but it is also a good skill for self-control, overall manners or part of games such as tug or retrieve. This can be a relatively easy skill to teach as long as it is set up correctly and your dog has not had lots of practice at playing the keep away game! Read more

The dogma of Distraction Training

“My dog is perfect inside the house, but forgets everything and pays no attention to me outside!”

Have you ever found yourself saying this or can you relate to this statement? Every dog owner has felt frustration with their dog at one time or another due to their dog’s short attention span. A common mistake that dog owners make while training their dogs is not properly proofing for distractions. We expect that once our dog knows a skill, they should be able to understand how to do the skill in any environment and/or situation. A common example would be when a dog does well at recall from the backyard to inside the house. Then the owner takes this right to the off-leash park and tries to call the dog to come out of play with another dog. The dog cannot handle this level of difficulty and will most often fail at this task. Read more

The dogma of Relationship Building

Dogs are social animals and they are pack animals. I do agree that we need to guide and take responsibility for them and our family, but why does this have to be about being a pack leader and dominating them? I do teach my dogs rules, structure and manners, but this whole idea of being a leader has become about force and coercion. We used to discuss these as leadership habits, I changed it to relationship building, and now I am leaving out anything to do with being a pack leader. The whole concept has become so misconstrued and to the detriment of the dog. It has created fear in people towards our dogs as we view everything they do as a potential act of dominance and their steps towards taking over leadership of the household. I will discuss this more in part 2, but for now, let’s focus on relationship building. Read more

The dogma of Dog Training: Three Important Traits of an Effective Trainer

There are many important skills that are important to being effective in your training with your dog. These include your handling skills, controlling your own body language, understanding your dog’s body language and many other essential traits/skills. However, when you are first starting training, or even if you have been training for some time, this post will cover what we consider to be essential to gaining success in training your dog. Read more

Why Take Training Classes?

We get asked this question a lot. Too often, people do not spend the initial time training there dogs thinking that they will just grow out of any inappropriate behaviour. This is when the real problems develop as the dog has had a great deal of time to practice these behaviour, so it makes our jobs more difficult to retrain the dog. It is possible, but it requires much more work on our part. We often don’t see the dogs until things have really become a concern. By training and socializing your dog early on, you are preventing many problems from developing down the road. A certified trainer that uses positive methods will show you how to properly teach your dog, help you understand how to better communicate to your dog, learn how they communicate, and overall develop a strong, positive relationship. Read more

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is almost here and it can be a stressful time for our dogs, as well as providing ample opportunities for getting them into trouble. One of the main concerns is that they don’t get into the Halloween treats! Chocolate and raisins are two of the most common treats a dog can find at Halloween and are potentially fatal. Ensure you are supervising your dog and your child to ensure the dog doesn’t ingest anything dangerous. Read more

The dogma of Mouthing

Mouthing is a normal behaviour for puppies. They investigate by using their mouths. Babies will put the toy in their mouth to figure out what it is. Dogs are the same way. Their mouths are like our hands. We need to teach them bite inhibition (control the strength of their jaws) and how to play appropriately. Read more

Tips for Success in Training Your Dog

Good dogs are not born, they are made, so you’ve got some work to do. Training a dog is not easy and it takes commitment. You made the choice to adopt your dog and now it is your responsibility to help it become a good canine citizen and ensure it has a proper emotional and physical well-being. Below are a few items that will help you both to be successful: Read more