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In Stride Pet Dog Training LLC

In Stride Pet Dog Training LLC My name is Amy Schuller, I am a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and also a member of the APDT. I work with all breeds and ages. private and group classes.

We as our dog’s caregivers want to create an environment in which our dogs will be set up for success and where both parties are having fun doing so! A calm and fair handler will in turn nurture a calm and reliable dog. In my training I use a lure and reward method of training. The lure helps in the acquiring of skills and the reward (treat/toy/praise) helps reinforce the skill just learned. When

We as our dog’s caregivers want to create an environment in which our dogs will be set up for success and where both parties are having fun doing so! A calm and fair handler will in turn nurture a calm and reliable dog. In my training I use a lure and reward method of training. The lure helps in the acquiring of skills and the reward (treat/toy/praise) helps reinforce the skill just learned. When

Operating as usual

Things to remember πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ™Œ
06/03/2022

Things to remember πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ™Œ

Things to remember πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ‘
06/03/2022

Things to remember πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ‘

The time is NOW

Primrose is growing by the day. The tiny puppy we brought home has more than doubled in size in a few short weeks and it has been wonderful to watch her confidence and social skills grow and to see her ability to problem solve and tackle everything she encounters in life develop. Of course, this is a natural process – puppies are designed to gain all sorts of skills in this early period and to develop physically and emotionally as they interact with the world around them. One way or another a puppy will continue to grow and develop, but how they grow and develop and whether they reach their full potential, is hugely impacted by the opportunities we provide for them during this critical window for socialisation and habituation.

There is a balance to be found here: We need to protect them from trauma or bad experiences as far as possible, BUT we also have to allow them to explore and encounter new things, so that they can learn and grow. If we isolate puppies, we greatly minimize their opportunities to develop the necessary social, physical and emotional skills they need to be well-adjusted adults. What saddens me is that so many puppy guardians just don’t seem to get this. No matter how much we try to educate people about socialisation and the importance of positive input during early development, it never fails to amaze me how good people are at coming up with excuses for doing bugger-all during this time – and I use this term deliberately, as the thesaurus appropriately defines it to be considered β€œsomewhat vulgar and used in a pinch just to show how upset you are” – because I am upset about this. I am tired of having conversations with people whose puppies are being kept at home while the days roll by and the outside world becomes a more mysterious and scarier place. I am tired of being asked to socialise adolescent and adult dogs that are no longer in the socialisation period.

While it still frustrates me, I do at least sympathise with those who have kept puppies at home upon veterinary or breeder advice around vaccinations (despite the many official veterinary statements around the need for balance in this regard and the fact that safe socialisation is still possible during the time), as I do understand that at least this comes from a place of caring about the puppy’s welfare. What really gets to me, are those who seem to prioritise everything else, but their puppies’ needs: those who book a holiday after getting a puppy, can’t afford puppy class because they just bought a new TV, those who think that their own social engagements are more important than time spent with their puppies and those who are just β€œtoo busy” to take the puppy out.

When your puppy comes home at around 8 weeks of age, the next 6 weeks are probably the most critical time in terms of investment in their emotional wellbeing. This time is over in the blink of an eye and you will never get it back. No social engagements or hobbies or holidays are more important. All these things can wait – they really can. Your puppy’s development will not wait. Life will always be busy – we need to make a plan and get our priorities right. Raising a puppy is a huge responsibility – one that only we can meet. Unless you are willing to make their needs your main priority – for just the first couple of months at least, you and your puppy will lose out in the long run. Please don’t make that mistake.

For more details on the responsibilities of dog guardians during the socialisation period, please see: https://www.tarynblyth.co.za/what-is-the-socialisation-period

So beautifully said. I lost two of my beloved dogs several months ago. The pain is still there for their loss, but knowi...
06/02/2022

So beautifully said. I lost two of my beloved dogs several months ago. The pain is still there for their loss, but knowing I made their lives the best they could be and their deaths too, makes the loss a little bit easier to bare. πŸ’–πŸΎπŸ’”

Love this! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘
06/02/2022

Love this! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘

So true πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ€”
06/01/2022

So true πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ€”

Some dogs are huggers, some are not. πŸ•

Learn how to tell if your pup is not comfortable with hugs when you read today’s free article. #DogsAndHugs #DogParent #HealthyPets

Today’s free article is all about stress signals in dogs. Read it here: https://bit.ly/3N8VueM

Another wonderful resource! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰
06/01/2022

Another wonderful resource! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰

I made a thank you video on my YouTube channel Kikopup for Zak George for spreading the word of training with Positive Reinforcement around the entire globe, helping people find out about it in every Google search. The video is also a call to action of the positive reinforcement dog training community to be more welcoming and to make a goal to go out and use positive reinforcement with other trainers, by leaving them comments and showing appreciation for their work.

Yes please πŸ₯°πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘πŸ™Œ
06/01/2022

Yes please πŸ₯°πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘πŸ™Œ

TRAINING YOUR REACTIVE DOG, WHAT SHOULD IT LOOK LIKE?

It's important when training our reactive dogs we do are upmost to avoid reactive displays.

Think of it like this; your on a diet, to lose weight you need to eat less calories. But in your kitchen you've a cupboard full of chocolate. What's going to happen everytime you go in your kitchen and open that cupboard, your going to eat a bar of chocolate.

The same thing applies to your reactive dog, if you keep allowing your dog to practise their reactive behaviour it will be near impossible to resolve. Just like if you keep eating chocolate bars you'll not lose weight.

Part of any behavioural modification plan is using management to avoid your dog practising their "undesirable behaviour".

When we carry out any behavioural modification plan, it should look boring.

Humane, science based and force free nothing more, nothing less.

As always be Kind, Caring and Compassionate ❀

#reactivedog #reactivedogtraining #thedogenius #caninebehaviour #doglover #dogtraining #forcefreetraining #positivereinforcement #scentwork #canineprinciples #petprofessionalnetwork #doglife #dogoftheday #dogsofinstagram #dogstagram #dogsofinsta #dogsoffacebook #dogbehaviour #animalfamily #NotOwners #dogtrainerbelfast #puppytrainerbelfast #thedogenius

Love this! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸ˜‰πŸΆπŸ™Œ
06/01/2022

Love this! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸ˜‰πŸΆπŸ™Œ

Things to remember and consider πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ€”
06/01/2022

Things to remember and consider πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ€”

For a few years now the world seems to have gone Puppy crazy. Nothing wrong with that...apart from there are some issues which are popping up more and more.
More people need to know what is happening out there.

🦴Breeders🦴

"Holistic" immunisation does NOT exist. I have started to hear this more and more and it is just simply not true. Pumpkin seeds and a chia mix will not immunise your puppy. If you want to follow a hollistic path for your puppy (even though I disagree) that is your decision ...however you cannot go to puppy school no matter how many times you insist it is real, no reputable dog daycare will accept you either. I have no idea where this has come from and people obviously trust "breeders" but stay well clear of them, they are dangerous.
What is really upsetting is first time puppy owners that find out they cannot attend puppy school.....the "hollistic" way has screwed up the pups chances of early social interactions.

NEVER let "breeders" post the puppy health records. Insist you see them before and then look for the official veterinary stamp, or actual stickers from the immunisation given.

Make sure they give you some food they have been feeding the puppy...(and then check what they gave you in a clear plastic bag REALLY is Ziwipeak, Hills, Royal Canin etc and not Baxters). If you immediately change puppy food it can cause stomach pain and loose stools for days which can lead to colitis.

After you have chosen your puppy they may have "one" puppy left (actually many have just "one" puppy left) and its "such a shame they will have to be seperated". I cannot stress enough that 2 puppies can mean MUCH more than just "a bit more work".
Littermate syndrome is controversial, there are some who believe in it and some that don't. It doesn't mean all siblings (or even pups not related but close in age) will have issues but I have seen the effects of when it goes VERY wrong.
It can cause huge behavioural issues and the most serious of fighting can occur esp when going into the "teenage" years.

It seems to be the same backyard breeders over and over that seem to have "accidental" litters. They state they are not "really" breeders at all but "oops" it happened again....and again...and again. $$$.

Training your puppy.

Please do NOT use a slip lead on a puppy (even if your breeder insists its fine), it is damaging and dangerous and those tiny blood vessels, glands, bones and trachea can be seriously hurt. They may not be sold as a "slip" lead but any lead/leash that tightens around a dogs throat is a slip lead. If vets and the SPCA don't condone them on puppies neither should ANYONE else.
Puppies do not need to be "corrected" (a quick pull upward) on a slip lead to learn how to do or not do a behaviour.

If any "professional" puts their fingers in your dogs mouth and performs a lip roll (pushing your puppies gums over their teeth and pressing down) or pull on their tongue outwards (all in a response to stop puppy biting)....you may wish to look for another.
There are FAR better ways to stop puppy mouthing and nipping. None involve physical pain.

If you see another litter of puppies from your breeder (and know the difficulties this breeder has caused you), speak up. Even if its private messaging the people that are responding that they are interested on Facebook.

You can save them from ALL the issues you are now facing.

We use this often in the Reactive dog programs. β€œGo sniff” and ”find it” cues are a wonderful way to decompress πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘
06/01/2022

We use this often in the Reactive dog programs. β€œGo sniff” and ”find it” cues are a wonderful way to decompress πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘

LET ME BE β€œNOSEY”
Imagine going on a long-anticipated walk, through beautiful scenery, after you have been cooped up in the same place all day, but you have been fitted with a blind fold and are being dragged along at a quick pace. I imagine that this is how dogs feel when we don’t allow them time to stop and sniff the environment. Dogs largely perceive their world through scent and it’s how they collect and process information and make sense of the world. Taking away an opportunity for sniffing on a walk is not in their best interests and as much as physical exercise is important, the mental stimulation that sniffing provides is equally, if not more important.
Studies have shown that allowing dogs to spend time sniffing provides so many benefits – promoting calmness, lowering stress and anxiety levels, lowering pulse rates, preventing cognitive decline and providing mental stimulation and enrichment are just some examples.
Make time for a slow β€œsniffing walk”, where your dog is allowed to decide which direction to go and allowed to simply be β€œnosey” and follow wherever their nose leads them. It may take far more time and patience as we wait for them to finish smelling that blade of grass, but the benefits are well worth it.

06/01/2022

Love this πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ‘

Another wonderful resource πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ₯°
06/01/2022

Another wonderful resource πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ₯°

Love this!! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘πŸ₯°
06/01/2022

Love this!! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘πŸ₯°

If you can't get your dog to follow you around your house or your backyard, you're not ready to take them for a walk in the real world, which is filled with unpredictable, uncontrollable distractions and stimuli.

Once you can get your dog to walk through your home on a loose-leash, you're ready to go out the front door. As soon as you do, you'll want to stop, wait, and watch.

Give your dog time to take in the environment. Can you still get your dog's attention? Will your dog still Sit or Heel attentively? If not, don't go any further out into the world. Stay put until your dog has acclimated enough that they will listen to you again.

Learn more from our free webinar about How to Walk your Dog: https://dunbar.info/walkyourdog

Yes please!! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰
06/01/2022

Yes please!! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰

Consistency is perhaps the most important element in teaching. And it is unfortunately one of the hardest things for people to do. We are, as a species, pretty darn inconsistent. I get asked quite often "When can I stop using treats?" And I typically reply with something along the lines of "Do you work for free?" But it goes deeper than that. There is an expectation in our culture that having the option to punish is always acceptable, but that continuing to reinforce good choices and good behaviors is somehow not the ideal, that somehow if we are still reinforcing good decisions in our dogs it means our dogs are "not trained." This could not be further from the truth. The truth is that continual reinforcement keeps behaviors strong, reliable and the association between working with you from your dog's perspective as highly desirable.

I reinforce whenever I can. With whatever is going to be of value for my dog, sometimes that is play, sometimes praise, for many dogs that is food. I do this because there may come a time when I will have to ask something of my dog, ask them for trust, or forgiveness for a scary situation (like pulling them away from something dangerous) and I want to make certain that in that moment I do not damage our relationship, because the history of positive, good associations is so strong it can withstand a missed reinforcement here or there.

(Thank you to @Eileen Anderson for the phrase "#TeamVendingMachine ! We love it!)

Another great diagram! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘
06/01/2022

Another great diagram! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ‘

Let's talk for a minute about the rules of engagement with our dogs.

Should your dog be allowed to say no, I don't want to cuddle right now? Absolutely.

Should we ask them if they want to cuddle and also check in with them to make sure they actually want to continue? 100%!

Humans love to cuddle their dogs. I know I really enjoy it. But empowering my dog to say no as well as ask for cuddle time has made communication a lot easier for both of us and has built up an enormous amount of trust. Not just with me, but with other human friends as well. She's great at asking for scritches from other people she knows and trusts!

A lot of dogs learn to tolerate our constant touchy-feely-ness. But I want my dog to consent to, ask for, and enjoy the interaction. If she's simply tolerating it, I'm just being selfish!

For example:

Sometimes she wants to lay next to me but she doesn't want me petting her.

Sometimes she wants to eat her bully stick next to me on the couch without me petting her. Partially because she trusts I'll leave her be, but also because that's her comfortable regular spot! Does she want my hands all over her? No! She is busy enjoying some "Juno time."

Guess what? The more I leave her alone and/or ask her if she wants to interact rather than assuming she does, the more and more she seeks me out, the more time she wants to cuddle with me, and the safer she feels.

And what about stranger dogs? I never approach, touch or even talk to dogs I don't know until they decide they want to interact with me. Sure, there are a few super social, human loving dogs who want to say hello to every new person (then it's time to teach some manners!) But most of the dogs that I "ignore" end up calmly and comfortably coming to say hello eventually at their own pace and in their own time. And right from that first interaction, we've already started to build a trusting relationship.

All if this is easy to do and it doesn't mean that you can't spend quality cuddle time with your favourite pooch. It just means everyone is enjoying it and we reduce the risk of a bite (even from those super tolerant dogs) significantly!

Love this! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ™Œ
05/31/2022

Love this! πŸ’–πŸΎπŸΆπŸ˜‰πŸ™Œ

PHRASES THAT RUFFLE TRAINERS' FEATHERS ... AND WHY!

So I came across an interesting post started on a dog trainer's personal FB page today and it got me thinking. She asked "what words annoy you when you hear them?" She did state she didn't want the "why" of it just the words/phrases. As I scrolled down her comments I realized I agreed with many and thought - if a non-dog behavior expert was reading this they might think "why do these words bother so many trainers?!"

So, I decided to lay this out and explain the "why" to a lot of this.

Why trainers don't like the following phrases:

➑️ DOG OWNER SAYS: MY DOG IS SO STUBBORN!

πŸ‘‚πŸΌ DOG TRAINER HEARS: I don't know how to communicate/train properly with my dog and she's not doing what I ask so I assume she's hard-headed.

πŸ’‘ REALITY: I get it. Dog owners aren't usually dog trainers, hence why I have a job! So, you don't know what you don't know. However, if your dog isn't listening or "obeying" you the reality is likely that the dog isn't listening because of one, several or all of these factors: hasn't been trained to understand what you are asking of him, is confused, is stressed, and/or has made a poor association with the thing you ask and therefore won't do it at all out of fear/stress/anxiety.

πŸ• BOTTOM LINE: Training will fix this label.
–––

➑️ DOG OWNER SAYS: HE'S BEING DOMINANT!

πŸ‘‚πŸΌ DOG TRAINER HEARS: I watch a lot of Cesar Milan but don't really know exactly what all that entails .... and/or I think if a dog is doing a pushy or bratty behavior it's because he's dominant and "thinks he's boss".

πŸ’‘ REALITY: Your dog can't be "dominant". It's not a personality trait. It's not like saying my brother is "out-going". Dominance is fluid and only happens in certain contexts. Usually over resources and a dog that is aggressive or insecure is reacting for other reasons that aren't even related to "dominance". I could go on and on about this topic. It's very sadly been used and misused by a lot of trainers and even still by some trainers today. The truth is that science has shown other answers to what decades ago was always blamed for "dominance". You can read more on dominance in dogs here: http://bit.ly/2GElznQ

πŸ• BOTTOM LINE: Get to the root of the problem with a qualified professional (that doesn't adhere to the dominance/pack theory of yonder years.)
–––

➑️ DOG OWNER SAYS: WE TRIED POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING, IT DIDN'T WORK.

πŸ‘‚πŸΌ DOG TRAINER HEARS: We did that a couple times, didn't get immediate results so gave up and said it doesn't work.

πŸ’‘ REALITY: The thing with positive reinforcement-based training is that it does, in fact, take work, consistency and dedication on your part. It's not magic and it never works if you only do it a few times or if you are inconsistent. You often see immediate results but for them to "stick", and for long-term goals like great leash work (no pulling on leash) coming when called in distractions you will need to be consistent and work at it.

πŸ• BOTTOM LINE: Don't give up. Listen to your well-educated, qualified, positive reinforcement trainer ... and stay consistent!
–––

➑️ DOG OWNER SAYS: OH, HE'S KNOWS WHAT HE DID/HE KNOWS HE WAS WRONG!

πŸ‘‚πŸΌ DOG TRAINER HEARS: My dog is trying my patience on purpose and doesn't listen just to spite me even though that's not the case because dogs aren't humans so they aren't spiteful and do things "on purpose".

πŸ’‘ REALITY: Dogs that continually do things do so because it works and usually there is some kind of reward in it for them, even if just the satisfaction of chewing things or tearing something up ... or they had to potty so they did it on the floor because they just couldn't hold it ... or they were anxious when left alone and so they peed the floor from anxiety/stress (not uncommon at all).

Also, dogs that *appear* to have look of guilt are only doing this based on muscle memory --- the last time she entered the room and I was in this spot she was mad so I'll hang my head low in hopes she doesn't become confrontational --- or your body language, which dogs read faaaar better than you can even realize. Remember dogs can smell a seizure so they can smell when your adrenaline is up and your mood is changing as well as your eyes, your face, everything.

πŸ• BOTTOM LINE: Your dog isn't plotting against you. He just needs proper guidance and training on what to do.
–––

These are just a few things that I think trainers hear very often and have different "meanings" for dog owners than they do for trainers.

I will say this .... trust your trainer's knowledge unless you have a good reason not to. They aren't there to make your life miserable or make you feel like you don't know what you're talking about. They just want to explain why your dog is doing what he's doing and help you overcome it. Follow their advice and expertise and you should be well on your way!
Happy training!

––
Stacy Greer, CPDT-KA
Sunshine Dog Training & Behavior
sunshinedog.com

Address

245 Crawford St
Fitchburg, MA
01420

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Monday 9am - 8pm
Tuesday 9am - 8pm
Wednesday 9am - 8pm
Thursday 9am - 8pm
Friday 9am - 8pm
Saturday 9am - 8pm
Sunday 9am - 8pm

Telephone

6176403766

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Our Story

We as our dog’s caregivers want to create an environment in which our dogs will be set up for success and where both parties are having fun doing so! This can be done by creating an easily understandable and predictable sequence of events. For example dogs need rules and clear boundaries to understand what is expected of them. A calm and fair handler will in turn nurture a calm and reliable dog. In my training I use a lure and reward method of training. The lure helps in the acquiring of skills and the reward (treat/toy/praise) helps reinforce the skill just learned. When the dog understands the command the reward allows him/her to know the action was correct. There will be corrections being done in the form of, the removal of the treat, praise, or toy. A leash correction may be done but only if the handler is certain that the dog knows the command but hasn’t followed through.

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