Category Archives: Training

Dogs And Separation Anxiety

Alex, “Mom, quit torturing me and give me some watermelon please!”

Our Alex, a pit bull mix, was one of the best dogs I’ve ever had as a pet and as my helper when working with other dogs to modify their behavior, but my girl, when we got her as a puppy, had bad separation anxiety so it took us a while to get her to be balanced. Let me tell you that she was worth it. We had her for 13 years, and even now I don’t think that it was long enough.

Dexter, Boxer mix; Bella, pit bull mix; and Alex, pit bull mix.

Our Charlie, the new addition to our family, has separation anxiety and he is getting better as time goes by:

-We couldn’t leave him in any room by himself because he would scream murder at the top of his lungs. Nowadays, he is able to stay by himself for a short period of time.

-Charlie would bark/whine when Abby went out to do her business. Recently, he only makes a funny sound, yes sometimes he still whines, but the intensity and length of time is but a couple of seconds.

-When we placed Abby in the car first, Charlie would go berserk. As time went by, he understood that he would get in the car too so he does get excited, but it’s manageable.

The above is just a few of the things we’re working on with Charlie and his separation anxiety. To those pet parents that are probably asking themselves, “How long will it take for that separation anxiety to disappear?” Let me tell you that it depends on the dog, the activities you are doing with him, the behavior and training you are working on, and the consistency and commitment on your part. Work hard, but also remember to take a break every so often. Stay safe.

Charlie’s Behavior Rehabilitation And Training – Part III

Abby and Charlie relaxing after a very busy day this past weekend. Guard dogs on a well-deserved time off.

Charlie is improving on some things, and on others, we still got a bit to go:

-Walking around where we live is getting better. I haven’t seen him do a Superman, airborne, recently. But, yes there is a but, when he is walking outside of our property Charlie is still a bit hesitant. We are working on that.

-Eating, our boy eats anything, is getting better. He is giving me space when I am about to feed him. Great job Charlie!

-Sleeping/napping in his bed is also better. He is staying on it longer and longer. Yay!

-Separation anxiety is something that most shelter dogs exhibit and Charlie is not the exception. This weekend we took him to do some shopping and when Cynthia exited the car to go to the supermarket, guess what happened? Charlie lost it. But, and this part is the good part, he did better and better as we when to different stores. I will write about separation anxiety on another post.

Is Charlie winking at me or not? I think he is. Charlie, “Mom, please write that I am a good boy, please!”

I want pet parents to know that getting a dog to be balanced is done slowly with tons of patience. For those pet parents that are frustrated I would say to them to take a moment and to keep working at it. Take my word for it, your canine companion is worth it. I know my Charlie certainly is so don’t give up. Stay safel

Charlie’s Behavior Rehabilitation And Training – Part II

Abby, yours truly, and Charlie (L to R)

Charlie has been with us for a little over 2 weeks and slowly, emphasis on slowly, he is gaining weight, and he is starting to learn manners. Yeah! But, I want to tell you that behavior modification takes time, patience, and lots of persistence. One thing I tell my clients that they need to master is walking their dog. At the beginning, Charlie was impossible to walk with Abby, but as days went by he surprised us by walking beautifully like in the above picture.

Charlie, “Mom, what are you doing?”

And then Charlie saw a deer, and guess what? He went airborne. Yes, you read it right. He is a big dog so I never thought that could be possible, but Charlie proved me wrong. It took a few minutes for him to relax, and when he finally did we continued our walk. Is this unusual? No. All our dogs did the same, until they got used to seeing other animals without having any reaction.

For those pet parents that are scratching their heads not knowing what to do with their dogs, let me tell you that your dog will learn at his/her own pace, and you need to remember that. Find a dog trainer that you and your dog are comfortable working with and enjoy the ride. Also, when you are fed up, please do not work with your dog. Take a deep breath, put your doggie in his crate, and have a glass of wine. Once you are relaxed, continue working with your dog. By relaxed I mean balanced not buzzed. Stay safe!

Finding Happiness In Simplicity

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Abby, “I love taking car rides with my moms!”

Lately watching the news is scary and depressing-to say the least-but then I take a look at Abby finding happiness in simple things such as: walking, taking a ride in the car, eating, etc., and all I feel is a great sense of gratitude.

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Abby, “I smell food.  Mom, do you smell it too?”

Dogs are great teachers, and for me they are an integral part of my life.  They make me take a look at what really matters and not worry about things that are out of my control.  What does your dog bring to your life?

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

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Abby, “Mom, did you see that squirrel?”

To say that the coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives would be an understatement, but I choose to be optimistic and find a silver lining in every cloud.  With that being said, living in semi-isolation has afforded me the time to take Abby for more walks; catch up on some of my reading; write a post more often; and prepare to start working on my taxes – I know, you must be giddy with excitement and anticipation to tackle this task!

I don’t know how long we’ll live like this, so my question to you is: what are you doing with your canine companions during this time?

Getting Settled in Maryland With My Pack

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Abby, “Mom, please turn off the lights.  Moving is exhausting!”

Yes, that’s how tired Abby looked after helping us unpack.  By the way, she is lucky since we are not unpacking everything.  Remember to provide your canine companion a bed and some blankets.

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Abby, “Mom, wait!  I am not ready.  Please wait!

Sorry Abby, but I had to capture that facial expression.  We are taking nice walks except when the days don’t permit us to do so.  All in all, I could say that although it was stressful to move and super tiring, to say the least, we are really glad to be back in Maryland and we are looking forward to all the adventures we’ll have in Crofton!

Back Home – Maryland

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Abby, “Mom, I like the new smells I am picking up from here!”

Yes, we’re finally back home.  Home is really where your heart is, and a long time ago I realized that that place was Maryland.  For the last 5 years, we lived in Stoughton, MA and although it was a nice place, and we met amazing people and dogs, I always hoped that we had the opportunity to come back to Maryland and it finally came true.

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Abby, “Mom, I picked up an amazing new smell.  It smells like chicken!”

We were really busy moving for the last couple of weeks, but finally things are less hectic, and I have been able to take Abby for nice walks around the neighborhood lately.  Thanks to all the pet parents in Massachusetts that trusted us with their canine kids, we’ll miss you all, and looking forward to meeting amazing dogs and their pet parents in Crofton, MD.  It feels great to be back home!

Abby’s Trip To Canada – Part 2 of 2 (Quebec)

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Abby, “Mom, I am 100% sure that we’re lost. Could we please ask for direction? Please!!!

Yes, we were totally lost when we visited Quebec, but it didn’t matter to us.  How come?  We had a good time exploring this beautiful city, and eating along the way.

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Abby, “Moms, do you need help packing? One suitcase = 2 cookies. What do you think?”

We were all ready to go back to Massachusetts after visiting Canada, but I think Abby a bit more because she watched us carefully while we packed our things.

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Abby, “Moms, did you remember to pack my food and treats?”

I had to take the above picture.  Abby looked so adorable that it was hard to resist.  Anyway, we were ready to leave Quebec after a nice vacation, and yes, Abby did get treats and food along the way.

Abby’s Trip To Canada – Part 1 of 2 (Montreal)

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Abby, “Mom, hurry up!  We need to get on the road before it gets dark!”

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog, but lots of things happened the last few months that kept me busy: my mom fell down and had to have surgery; Cynthia’s mom passed away; my mom stayed with us for a while; a few doggies stayed vacationing with us; and Abby, of course, helped out big time.  Because of that, we decided to take a well deserved vacation.  Where did Abby go?  Montreal, Canada.  By the way, we left at 1pm so I don’t know why she was so concerned about leaving before it got dark.  Drama queen!

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Abby, “Mom, let’s cross the street now.  Come on!”

So, where was Abby, in the above picture? The Latin Quarter, Montreal.  After breakfast, we headed out the door to do some sightseeing, take pictures, and enjoy ourselves.

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Abby, “Mom, I am so tired!  Thanks for dinner.  Good night.”

Our days in Canada were certainly enjoyable, but by the end of the day we were all really tired, and Abby was the first one to get in bed.  Smart girl.

 

 

Abby, A Cute Working Dog

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Abby, “Mom, did you put some cookies in my back pack?”

Abby is a working dog, and if you ask her she’ll probably tell you that she needs a raise in the form of more cookies and human food.  One of Abby’s task is to carry her own gear.  Yes, people, there were a few cookies in that backpack.

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Walking with my pack. Prince, yours truly, Champagne, and Abby. (L to R)

Abby also helps me walk dogs.  The funny thing about it is that she gets a little confused when the weekend comes around because that’s when we are off.  Yes, she is a hard working girl!  In order to fulfill your dog’s needs give her a job, she’ll thank you for it.