Tag Archives: Obedience Training

Bella, An Energetic Pit Mix

Alex, ready to catch whatever is that that she just saw

Alex, ready to catch whatever is that that she just saw

Alex, my 12 year-old pit mix, only started to settle down when she was about 10 years old.  Yes, you read that right, 10 years.  During those 10 years, I had to take Alex for long walks and get her to run a couple of times a week in order to keep my sanity.  The weird thing about it was that once her level of energy started to decrease, I realized that I missed my hyperactive girl.  Humans!  Can’t make up their minds.  That’s what Alex would probably think if I told her this.

Alex and Bella (L to R)

Alex and Bella (L to R)

Anyway, then Bella came into our lives and I realized I was fortunate – ok.,to be honest sometimes I thought I was cursed – because she is also a hyper girl like Alex used to be.  For a while, she wore a backpack, but I stopped since I didn’t think she needed it.  Well, I was wrong.  The hour walk twice a day is not enough anymore so she is using her backpack again.  I am also getting her to run at least twice a week to drain her energy along with some basic training sessions.  Does it sound like a lot of work?  Yes.  Why do I do it?  Because I want Bella’s needs to be met and I want a dog I can enjoy sharing my life with and if that means being more active than usual, then so be it. 

Walter and Bella (L to R).  Photo taken May 2014.

Walter and Bella (L to R). Photo taken May 2014.

There are several things you can use and do to drain your dog’s energy such as: get her to use a backpack; take her for a run a couple of times a week; swim with her; train her to use a treadmill; and compete in Obedience Trials in your area, to name a few.  Those are just some suggestions, but I am sure you can come up with your own ideas.  With that in mind, what do you do to drain your dog’s excess energy?

Roxy, Treats, And Her Bed

Roxy comes very often to stay with us and for some reason she used to shake uncontrollably when it was time to go to bed.  She loves treats so I decided to use that and see how she responded.

IMG_5474We started by doing the following:

  • Lured her to bed by showing her a treat
  • Once in bed, she got a treat
  • While Cynthia put a leash and collar I continued to give her treats.  We had to do that otherwise she’d walk our bedroom the entire night and this only adds to more anxiety
  • I then said to her, “good night,” and gave her one last treat

IMG_4436We did this every time she stayed with us and you know what?  It worked.  About 2 days ago, I went to brush my teeth and as I was exiting the bathroom I saw something small and dark curled up in her bed, the bedroom is right next to the bathroom, and to my surprise it was Roxy.  Wow!  She went to bed all by herself.

If your dog has “issues” like cute Roxy, remember the following:

  1. First, figure out what she loves/likes best and use that to train her
  2.  Do not train her when you are angry or anxious, and make the experience pleasant and short.
  3. She was tethered to a 6 ft leash allowing her to move comfortably.  Do not leave a dog unattended.  We do this because she is in the same room with us just a few feet away from our bed

My next goal is to teach her to use a crate.  Just like with the bed, if Roxy is put in a crate she shakes like crazy.  I wanted to teach her to use a bed before using a crate.  Train your dog little by little.  There is no point nor need to stress your dog out.  Every dog is different, therefore please remember that when training or teaching your dog a new trick or behavior.  Go slowly, and take my word for it, it’ll pay off.  Have fun training your canine companion.

Why Bother With Dog Obedience Training?

You’ll be surprised how many times I’ve heard people ask me the above question, and I’ll start with an example using my dogs and myself to best illustrate my answer, which is always, “Yes, take your dog for Obedience Training, and you’ll see the difference between living with an unruly dog and one that has training.”

report card casey n alex front page

Our first dog, Casey, was challenging, to put it mildly, and just like many pet parents we knew nothing about dogs so I went to the library and read as much as I could on dog training.  I, then, realized that I needed to get Casey enrolled in an Obedience Class and find the right trainer for him.  The first trainer did not work out because she had a very high pitch voice and Casey would get scared, so we tried a second trainer, Janet Bennett, and she was perfect for us.  Casey got his first report card for completing Basic Obedience I on April, 27, 2002 and I was so happy that, only pet parents will be able to understand this, it trumped getting my MBA.  Don’t take me wrong, I was extremely happy when I got my MBA, but that first report card made me ecstatic.  I worked so hard and so long with Casey and I enjoyed the classes so much that I took with Casey: Obedience I, Obedience II, and Canine Good Citizen with the same trainer, Janet Bennett.

report card casey n alex back page

In late 2002, we added a new member to our family, Alex, and she got her Obedience I on September 4, 2003 with the same trainer.  As you can see based on the report cards, Alex did better than Casey.  And you know what’s funny?  I worked longer with Casey than Alex.

After taking a total of four (4) classes with my dogs, were they perfect?  No, but they were certainly more manageable and we enjoyed having them.  The point of training is, at least for me, to be able to enjoy, manage, and provide structure for your dog.  Once you have taken your dog for some training, make sure that you incorporate that training into her everyday life/routine so there’s no excuse like, “I don’t have time to train my dog.”

IMG_5774

By the way, the only time I tell a pet parent to hold on training is when behavior needs to be address first, or there are medical issues the dog is going through and need to be resolved.

Janet Bennett passed away a couple of years ago, but I admired how she commanded a room and trained dogs so much that after thinking about it for the last couple of years, I decided to work on getting my Dog Trainer Certificate.  I am very excited about embarking in this new endeavor so wish me luck and have a great weekend.

Before I forget, Precious Pet Cottage does not offer training anymore and I don’t get paid to mention them.