Tag Archives: puppies

South End, Boston, MA (Woofstock)

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I thought I died and went to heaven when I saw so many dogs and their pet parents this past weekend in a fair appropriately named Woofstock.  To say that Abby and I loved it would be an understatement.

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A few dogs were ready for Halloween, and so they were socializing with others while showing off their costumes like this cutie pie.

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Whoever thought about putting this event together did a great job.  By the way, there was very little barking although there were lots of dogs so I’d venture to say that we all had a good time.

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I had to take this picture.  When I was a kid, I used to see women carry their children like the above picture, but never a puppy.  So adorable.  Have a great week.

Dog Training & Behavior Tips

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Abby, “I am sitting perfectly. Could I get my food now, please?”

If you want to start your puppy or newly acquired dog on the right path, these are some of the things I recommend pet parents to do:

  • Start working on training and behavior modification as soon as you get your dog
  • Set rules and boundaries so your dog knows what is not acceptable
  • Be consistent and give clear instructions
  • Provide your dog with adequate physical and mental exercise
  • Get the whole family involved in raising this puppy/dog
  • Give structure to his every day life
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Abby, “Wow! So many things to see and smell.”

One thing, I’ve realized after training a variety of dogs, many pet parents forget to do is expose their dogs to different environments, people, sounds, etc.  Abby is sensitive to sound just like many other dogs therefore she goes everywhere I can take her.

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Some pet parents have told me, “I don’t know why she doesn’t behave.  She went through 2 obedience classes.”  Well, the answer is simple, training was provided, but behavior modification was not.  Training and behavior modification is a lifelong commitment and process, but take my word for it, the bond you develop with your dog and the enjoyment you’ll get from living with a balanced canine companion is priceless.

Teaching Abby To Behave

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Abby, “Moms, it’s snowing!”

Abby, at the beginning, didn’t know or understand that once we were home she was not allowed to run like crazy, nip people, grab things off of the floor as toys, etc.  Well, time went by, 9 weeks, and she is starting to understand that certain things are expected of her if she wants to help Cynthia cook.

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Abby, “Mom, I am not presentable and you are distracting me from helping mom Cynthia finish cooking our meal.”

I like to have Abby in the kitchen when Cynthia is cooking because this is the perfect time to work on behavior.  How?  Well, for one, she is not allowed to jump while Cynthia cooks; for two, she is to keep those beautiful teeth away from nipping or biting; and lastly, she is not to frantically pace back and forth.  This is not basic training but rather behavior modification.

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Marcela, “This is Abby letting me know in no uncertain terms that she is not happy that I am not saying that she is perfect.”

I also like Abby to be in the kitchen because I want her to get used to the different sounds and smells that are typical in a kitchen.  Abby, so far, has been the hardest puppy I’ve ever had to train and work on behavior modification with, but also the most adorable.  Why am I sharing this with you?  Because I want you to understand and know that dogs are individuals and as such they learn at their own pace.

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Abby, “Mom Cynthia, how much longer before we eat?”

Alex, our pit bull mix, was very easy to train.  She got all her obedience cues and behavior, behavior always being the most difficult to achieve, pretty fast and because of that I joined the legions, yes legions, of pet parents that told me that female dogs are smarter than male dogs.  By the way, I no longer thing so.  Why?  Abby proved all those pet parents wrong.  If you got a puppy or dog recently, please work with a trainer and/or behaviorist in order to start your canine companion on the right path.  Many of the dogs I see in shelters are there because of behavioral problems.  Don’t give up on your dog, and find the help of a professional to guide you and teach you how to properly communicate with your dog.

By The Sweat of Your Brow You Will Eat

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Abby, “Mom, give my food now.”

When I was a kid, my mom used to say over and over again, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat,” and I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about.  In my defense, I was 6 years old at that time.  Anyway, now I understand what she meant and this is something that also applies to our canine companions.  By the way, do you see that pair of socks on the floor?  I left them there on purpose.  Why?  So Abby can go and play with them and I can correct her.  She won’t learn unless she makes mistakes.

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Abby, “Mom, you have my undivided attention.”

Notice the distance between Abby and me, but remember that she has been with us for almost 2 months so this was not an overnight thing.  I started with very little distance and now I’ve increased it.  The hand signal is for her to stay and this is why Basic Training is important.  Look at Abby’s eye contact.  Perfect!

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Abby, “Oh boy, when will I eat?”

Now is a good time to feed her.  I started by feeding her in her kennel and then outside the kennel.  Next time I’ll post what she does prior to sitting pretty like that.  Why?  Because she goes bananas and she has learned that she will not eat until she is calm.  As you can see, Abby does work for her food, or should I say sweat?  And just so we are clear, this is a combination of behavior and training.  We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but little by little we are getting there.  Do you make your dog work for his food?  If so, how?  Enjoy your weekend.

Happy 13th Birthday Alex

Alex, "What?  My guests are arriving and I have to greet them?

Alex, “What? My guests are arriving and I have to greet them?”

Alex’s birthday was May 5th, but because we were busy we delayed celebrating it, and that is totally my fault.  Sorry Alex.  I know, I am bad.  The celebration started with Alex not wanting to move from her bed to greet her one and only guest, Archie.  Between you and me, I think she wanted the cake all to herself.

Archie, "Am I getting a piece of cake too?"

Archie, “Am I getting a piece of cake too?”

Archie was Alex’s guest and because he is a puppy taking this picture took a little bit of planning.  What a cutie pie!

b133Cynthia lit up the candles and both, Alex and Archie, waited patiently until Cynthia took this picture.  Yes, they actually cooperated this time.

Alex, "Mom, please hurry up.  I am literally aging here."

Alex, “Mom, please hurry up. I am literally aging here.”

It was nice to see Alex so interested in her cake.  So interested that it looked as if she was trying to help serve to her own cake.  I still can’t believe she is 13 years old.  We got Alex when she was a little over 2 months old and she was such a hyper little puppy that to be honest I was somewhat scared of her level of activity.  But you know what?  It only took her 10 years to mellow out.

Alex., "Finally!"

Alex., “Finally!”

Alex finally got a chance to taste her cake.  No, she did not eat all of it.  She had to share it and that was fine with her.  Happy belated 13th birthday to our amazing furry kid.

Argo, Our Visiting Puppy

puppy1I took Alex out for a short walk in the morning before Argo, a cute puppy, came to stay with us for the weekend.  Alex is always excited when there is a dog/puppy coming to stay with us, but after the introduction period, she just goes back to doing what she does best, and that is sleeping.

puppy2I’ve been training Argo for the last few weeks on Basic Obedience so I am glad he is staying with us this weekend so I can go over what he’s learned so far.  Doesn’t he have a cute face?  Have a great weekend.