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!
A few pet parents have asked me how do I manage a multi-dog household and this is what I tell them:
Exercise is the #1 ingredient and the most important of all. If your dog is tired, chances that he will have the energy to get in trouble highly decreases. He can run, walk, hike, etc.
Each dog needs to have his own area for eating. If you use a crate, great!
Never leave your dogs loose in the house while you are out running errands
Manners! Dogs have manners so there will be no pushing, pawing, steeping over one another, etc.
Do your best to spend a few minutes with each individual dog
I have Abby and Charlie as my dogs and demo dogs, but I also get my clients’ dogs that stay with us for short and extended times so I make sure that my pack gets along with each other. Now, aside from what I listed above, you, the pet parent, have to practice being a zen person. What is that? A zen person lives peacefully and has a sense of bliss. Yes, this may be the hardest part for most of us to do, but this is good for our dogs, and for us as well. Any questions? Stay safe.
Abby, “So my mom has not been feeling well these last couple of days, therefore our walks, tummy rubs, treats, and so much more declined considerably. I didn’t know what to do so I asked her to take a look at our old pics and whichever one made her smile to post on her website. And so she picked the above pic. I am staying close to her, and I am trying not to be too demanding. Crossing my fingers, well if I had any, that my mom fells better soon. Sloppy kisses to all of you!”
Happy New Year! Sorry for the delay. Let’s give you a run down of what we did this past holiday. We ate a lot-as expected-both humans and canines; we slept and took naps; we did walk, and added playtime for Abby and Charlie in order to stay consistent and active; and-wait for it-we realized that we’ve given too much freedom to Charlie so after the holidays-meaning now-Charlie and Abby-will be doing some needed behavior and training. Anyway, that’s a post for another day.
Charlie-more than Abby-certainly took it to heart when we said nap time. Regardless of what you did, I hope that you enjoyed your holiday and your family. What did you do this past holiday? Stay safe and bundle up!
My pack is planning to do what we’ve been doing for a while, enjoy our staycation, so there! Abby got a shot for allergies yesterday, yes my girl has allergies, so that’s just another reason or excuse, however you want to look at it, to stay at home.
Anyway, whether you are traveling to visit family and friends or staying at home, enjoy your Labor day weekend and stay safe!
Let me start this post by saying that there is no such thing as a perfect dog. I could see pet parents red with anger, but allow me to explain. Just like humans, dogs are a work in progress, and that’s ok. But I believe that there is such a thing as the perfect dog for you, the pet parent, and that is a completely other post for the future.
I decided to post about Charlie’s progress, but it dawned on me that I should also post about Charlie’s antics. Why? I want pet parents to know that they are not the only ones feeling lost, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc.
This past weekend we took Abby and Charlie to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD for a nice long walk, and well this is where our odyssey started.
During our walk, we introduced Charlie to water, and being the Sheprador that he is he seemed to enjoy it. We continued our walk, and brace yourself, he saw a squirrel, and although he is doing better when seeing squirrels, he lost it. He barked, pulled, whined, etc. In other words, he put a whole Broadway production for us. I had to hold on to that leash for dear life. Then, after a short period of walking nicely, he saw a bird and wanted to go after it, but with less intensity than with the squirrel. We finished our walk, almost an hour long, gave them water, and put them in the car.
Charlie is a little over 2 years old, and there are times when he walks beautifully even if a bird-he ignores birds for the most part-or squirrel show up, and there are other times like our outing this past weekend when he just goes bananas. What I am trying to say is that your dog will drive you nuts and he will certainly keep your life interesting and unpredictable, but take my word for it when I tell you that this too shall pass. One day, your crazy dog will be a well-behaved dog, and you would say to many people, “My Charlie is the perfect dog for me.” Yes, you will! When? It depends on the dog. Our Abby calmed down around 4-5 years old. I’d say Charlie has another 1-2 more years of craziness in him.
Dogs are not perfect, but who would want a perfect dog? It would be boring. Until your dog matures, he will-many times-misbehave and surprise you. You are just going to have to have patience, be consistent, and remember that life is full of surprises, and so is your dog!
Charlie is doing better every day, so much so that I was able to take him out to the deck-no leash or collar-and let him hang out with Abby while I had some work done outside the house.
By the way, at the beginning he didn’t know how to stay in bed while I was in the kitchen doing dishes, or in the living room watching TV, but lately he has been able to fall asleep and has allowed me to do my chores while he snores. Yes, you read it right, allowed me.
Seriously speaking, sometimes we think that we train our dogs, but I am starting to think that they train us. Oh well! You know what? It’s never a dull moment when you share your life with a dog, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Take care.
As you can see in the above picture, Abby and Charlie take their job seriously. Our routine is to drop off the garbage, sometimes we have to do 2 trips, and pick up our mail.
Charlie’s separation anxiety is slowly starting to disappear. He no longer screams murder when left him in a room alone. We’ve been able to go shopping without a problem. Also, Charlie no longer goes bananas when we put Abby in the car first. He gets excited, which is normal, but even that is manageable.
I realized very early on that Charlie needed to get exposed to everything and that’s exactly what we’re doing with him. It helps that Abby is there to lend a paw to her younger brother. To those pet parents out there dealing with a variety of issues, we all have issues by the way, don’t give up and work hard. Our dogs are worth it. Enjoy your weekend!
We are continuing with Charlie’s rehab and training, but during the weekend we change a bit our schedule. Yes, they do still take a walk. By the way, walking is great for us humans too.
The weather here in Annapolis, MD today, Saturday, is gorgeous so we will take walks, naps, watch TV, eat, and enjoy each other’s company this weekend without feeling guilty about it. What are you and your doggies up to this weekend? Stay safe.