Category Archives: Outings

Fall Season 2022 And Dogs

My Alex, a Pit Bull mix. A blast from the past.

I had to put, “Fall Season” as to not confuse people with the movie Fall. By the way, the movie is great! Watch it when you get a chance.

According to what I found out, Fall starts September 22, but I am already feeling the change in weather and I am loving it! Here in Maryland during Fall you could walk anytime of the day without sweating your butt off. Yeah! As you can clearly see, this may be my favorite season. I am known to change my mind though.

Pet parents, continue with walks, hikes, outings, etc. Go out and enjoy yourselves. Stay safe.

Dog Walking Tips During Summer

Alex, a Pitbull mix, and Walter, a handsome Australian Sheperd.

To say that I love to walk with my dogs would be an understatement, but when it’s hot I need to be aware and mindful of the following:

  1. Pick an appropriate time to walk – I do my best to walk them before 9am and after 7pm
  2. Dark or black color coats – dogs like Walter, Australian Shepherd in the above picture, tend to overheat faster than dogs with light or white coats like Alex, a Pitbull mix
  3. Know the breed of your dog – dogs with flat faces and short noses regardless of the color could overheat fast because they are unable to cool down like those with long noses
  4. Water – always, and I mean always, carry with you enough water for you and your dog
  5. Take a break – you could stop for a couple of minutes under some shade or find a store that allows dogs inside like Home Depot so both of you could get a break from the heat, sun, and humidity
  6. Limit your time – if you usually walk 1 hour, depending on how hot it is, you may have to walk 20 to 30 minutes instead

Summer is a great time to walk with your dog, but just be careful and mindful of the above tips. What time do you walk your dog when it’s hot? Enjoy your week!

Stop Talking To Your Dog!

Abby and Charlie, “Mom, you talk too fast so we’ll just go ahead and ignore you. There!”

Years ago, when I took my very first dog training class with an excellent dog trainer, Janet Bennet, there was a lady with a small dog and during class she had conversations with her dog rather than plainly telling him, “Sit.” To say that I smiled about this exchange between the two of them would be an understatement, but I know now that that is the worst thing you could do with your dog.

Yes, you should use words to teach your dog commands, but dogs don’t need a story of why you want him to do something. To be effective at communicating with your dog, use your body language, tone of voice, intention, and energy. And if you have a fearful, sensitive, excitable, or shy dog, the least you talk to him, the better for both of you because you will not be frustrated and he will learn at his own pace. So, let’s leave our talking for the trainer you are communicating with about your canine companion and start communicating properly with your dog. Stay safe!

Treating Dog Anxiety

Abby, Charlie and Remy after a nice morning walk. If they were guard dogs, they would all be fired!

Anxiety in dogs is something that pet parents have a hard time dealing with or recognizing for that matter. These are some of the signs a dog will exhibit when anxious: pacing, drooling, barking, destroying things, nipping, etc. I always recommend for pet parents to have a vet do a physical exam to rule out any medical condition their dog may be experiencing, and once they get a clean bill of health we could start addressing the anxiety in their dogs.

Charlie, a GSD mix, had a lot of anxiety when we got him from the SPCA in Annapolis, MD. By the way, most dogs from shelters are very anxious, it’s rare to find one that is not. Our Charlie went from screaming murder at the top of his lungs any time: we left the room; we exited the car; we went to a new place, etc. How is he doing now? Way better and still working with him, but understand this, your dog’s anxiety will disappear with time if you are consistent with the following:

  1. Walk him! Yes, this gets a lot of that anxiety and pent up energy out of them
  2. Don’t talk too much to your dog. Use your body language, energy and intention instead
  3. Start working with a trainer on basic training and behavior modification
  4. When you are overwhelm, walk away, take a deep breath and work with your dog once you are on a relaxed state of mind. No, you cannot drink wine. Sorry!

The above is just a few of the things you could do to start dealing with your dog’s anxiety. Charlie is super smart, he is a GSD mix after all, but I am still working with him and I have seen amazing results. Don’t despair, be consistent and your dog will one day bring you joy rather than stress. Enjoy your week!

Happy Birthday Abby!

Abby, “Yay, I could go and explore, right?”

Abby turns 7 years old today. Could you believe how time goes by so fast? We are so happy to have her in our lives and so this is what we’ve planned for her: Yummy brunch, she had some fried rice and eggs this morning; napping in front of the fireplace which she seems to enjoy very much; and dinner, later on, chicken, rice, veggies, and for dessert-wait for it- a small cake that she’ll have to share with Charlie.

I am usually really bad about birthdays. I end up posting and celebrating well after the actual birthday took place, so this year I decided to change things and do it the day of the birthday itself.

Is Abby going to get any presents? Yes, we’ll be going to do some shopping for her next week. As you could see I am far from perfect, so if you forget your doggie’s birthday don’t feel bad just make up for it later on. Happy birthday my beautiful Abby!

Back To Our Old Routine

Abby and Charlie, “Mom, we saw a fish. Could we get it?” Mom, “No!”

Since Abby and Charlie were driving us up the wall-totally my fault of course-this is what their day looks like:

  1. Walking – extremely important therefore I listed it first. If possible, twice a day
  2. Behavior and Training – make your pup wait for you while you take laundry out of the dryer; eye contact to you right before you feed him; sit while you put on his Halti and much more
  3. Structure – your dog should have time for walks, behavior and training, crate time, and naps
  4. Job – find out what your dog loves to do and hire him/her for that job

The above are just a few of the things you need to do in order for your dog to be balanced, and for you to keep your sanity and minimize at all cost your hair turning gray. There are studies that state that stress causes our hair to turn gray so for the sake of vanity if nothing else, follow the above list. Stay safe!

Confessions Of A Pet Parent And Dog Trainer

Marcela, “Don’t they look like angels? You’ll think different after reading this post.”

To say that Abby and Charlie were given lots of food, treats, naps, and freedom since November of last year would be an understatement. Let me start from the beginning. Once November came around, my body went into holiday mode so the kids, Abby and Charlie, for the most part did what they wanted. And after 3 months of that, we were about to pull our hair out, and so Cynthia and I decided that they needed to go back to having exercise, structure, a job, etc., in order to keep our sanity.

How are they doing? I’ll tell you in a future post. For now, what I’d like to convey is that whether you are a pet parent, or a pet parent and dog trainer, like me, we all-at one point or another-end up relaxing the rules we should have for our dogs, and as a result they drive us up the wall. Now, rather than feeling frustrated, angry, and discouraged-all these are negative feelings-we could instead look at how we remedy this situation and get to work. So with that in mind, let’s get to work. Stay safe!

Annapolis, MD Sailboat Show

Charlie to Cynthia, “I will pose for this picture, but I need to be compensated for it mom.”

I enjoy going to downtown Annapolis, and that’s what we did this past weekend not knowing that it was time for the annual sailboat show. To say that there was a lot of people would be an understatement, and because of that I asked Cynthia to wear her mask, and only remove it for this picture. Safety first pet parents!

How did Charlie do? Surprisingly well. Abby and Charlie barked at a dog while we were walking because such dog barked at them first, but other than that we had a nice time walking around and taking pictures. We are trying to expose Charlie to as many different things as possible just like we did with all our other doggies. Sharing your life with dogs is quite an adventure so let’s enjoy the ride! Stay safe.

Roxie A Cute Yorkie

Roxie, “Please let me take a nap. Walks, mingling with other dogs and people is exhausting!”

The above cutie pie is Roxie, a Yorkshire Terrier often shortened as Yorkie, who is vacationing with us so I decided to highlight a few of her breed’s traits:

  • A Yorkie’s coat is said to be hypoallergenic
  • Very protective, active, and loving attention makes a Yorkie a great companion for an adult person
  • This breed is better suited for families with children over 10 years old
  • Excellent as a guard dog, yes you read it correctly, because they bark a lot
  • Separation anxiety is common because they were bred to be companion dogs

As days go by, we’ll see about the traits I mentioned in Roxie. Enjoy your weekend!

Abby And Hot Weather Safety Tips

Abby, yours truly and Charlie taking a walk in downtown Annapolis, MD.

Hot weather seems to affect Abby more than Charlie:

  • Abby is able to walk without any problem as long as we walk very early in the morning
  • She seems to get tired faster during Summer than Winter
  • Because Abby is a Beagle Bulldog mix, BeaBull, she makes a funny noise with her nose when she is getting hot so I know that it is time to stop
  • Also, because of the Bulldog in her, Abby snores sometimes. Yes, she does!
  • Abby’s dark color, and dogs that are black, can easily get overheated

I love living in Maryland, but I am always mindful that Summers here are very hot and humid so I need to be careful when we venture out with my kids. Enjoy your Summer and stay safe!