A busy day of puppies. This big beautiful nine month old great pyrenees puppy started training for off leash today.
Do you have a new puppy and want to start him off right? Contact our CPDT-KA certified trainer.
A busy day of puppies. This big beautiful nine month old great pyrenees puppy started training for off leash today.
Coming from a background in animal shelters I understand all too well that sometimes rehoming is the only option. I’ve seen the shame in the tears that are associated with these decisions.
I understand that there are times where for whatever reason a family runs into a situation where they could no longer keep their family pet. There is always embarrassment and guilt associated with this.
It is not a trainers responsibility to judge, it is simply their responsibility to help.
Sometimes the trainer will agree it is for the best especially in cases with aggression and minors in the home.
If you are faced with the decision to rehome your dog no matter the reason here are some people you should contact before you consider the shelter.
Most breeders want to be contacted if living situations change or problems arise with the dog. Many breeders even have it in the contract that they be contacted in case of rehoming. Good breeders consider themselves responsible for the lifetime of every puppy.
Like breeders if you adopted through a reputable rescue it’s likely in the contract that you must contact them before rehoming. Good rescues consider them self responsible for the lifetime of the dog.
A trainer has a good idea of what a great home for your dog is. They understand your dogs energy needs, Behavior struggles and can likely help you screen potential adopters to make sure they’re good fit. They may even be able to send potential adopters your way. They can also help to work to ensure that the new adopter doesn’t run into problems. Many will post the dog amongst other dog training friends.
Your veterinarian is another good resource. He sees dog lovers all day and may have an ideal placement in mind for your dog. While they see new puppies daily they also see people who have lost their pet. They are often keeping an eye open for a client’s next dog.
If you’ve been using the same groomer it’s likely that they’ve been seeing him since puppyhood. Your groomer has a long list of clients who care deeply about their pets needs. Just like the veterinarian their clients are lifelong which means they see people who lose their pet and may be interested in finding another match for their home.
While animal people can rarely agree on much I think that there is one thing that they can agree on…. animal professionals have the best interest of the animal at heart.
If you come to a place where you need to rehome your dog don’t forget to contact the animal professionals that have watched your pet grow up too!
If you must place the task of rehoming in someone else’s hands and a animal care professional you work closely with is unable to help then consider the following factors when deciding how to surrender your dog.
Choosing where to surrender. Not all shelters and rescues are created equal.
Some animal shelters and rescues have more resources for medical treatment than others. Yet there are some that specialize in behavior modification. Keep in mind what your pet’s specific needs are when you’re deciding.
Many animal shelters and rescues have a surrender fee. This can range from a small donation to $200. While it may seem like a no-brainer to pick a place that doesn’t have a surrender fee keep in mind that the surrender fee often correlates with the live release rate, not always but most of the time. Surrender fees pay for the care of your pet will receive while with the shelter, although it rarely pays for all of it.
There are also breed-specific rescues. If you have a breed that is considered difficult or is it unusual breed then you might consider a breed rescue. For example and Malinois rescue May interview people more in-depth to make sure that they understand a high drive dog.
Be one hundred percent honest when you surrender your dog and ask that they be honest with you as well. Sometimes owners won’t want to disclose information such as a dog not being fully house trained. It’s important that you disclose this information so that the shelter or rescue can share it with the adopters. Some families are perfectly willing to work on house training while for others it will be a deal-breaker. Provide that information so they can make their own choice. This will make it less likely that your dog is returned to the shelter or rescue. The more information that the shelter or rescue has the better understanding they will have of what kind of home your dog needs.
In the United States, 68% percent of dogs enter a shelter due to behavior issues. The number one cause of euthanasia for dogs in the United States under 3 years old is not infectious disease, it’s behavior problems. In fact, more dogs under 3 years old are euthanized each year for behavior than all infectious diseases combined.
The behavior modification program is designed to help dogs that are suffering from issues such as the following.
Chasing Cats, Chickens, Other Small Animal
Problems with Grooming/Nail Trims
Problems at the Vets office
Retained Puppy Habits Like Mounting
Lunging at Other Dogs/People
Biting Other Dogs/People
These sessions are completely customizable to fit your needs and goals. These sessions can be performed in-home, in public, or both.
If you are adopting a teen or adult dog you shouldn't wait to get your dog’s behavior on the right track.
Here are some tips:
✅️Lots of long line sniffy walks the first 3 days with safe no slip gear.
✅️Hand feed, kong toy feed or snuffle mat feed.
✅️Don't introduce to tons of new people and dogs right.
✅️Reinforcement obedience skills like sit and come as soon as they are accepting hand feeding.
✅️Teach them where you want them to sleep and p*e, BEFORE they have a chance to try places you don't want them to.
✅️Teach them what you want them to chew and play with by offering it BEFORE they make mistakes.
✅️Be fair and set expectations. Tell them what you want... if you don't want them to jump be calm and tell them to sit avoid uses strung together words like "Hey, No, Off, Down" especially if you haven't trained the meaning.
Your dog knows it, but doesn't do it?
Here are some tips!
✅️Train where you want it to work, don't expect your dog to listen in the backyard if you have never practiced there.
✅️Quantify your results. Keeping track of your success rate in new places can be encouraging and motivating.
✅️Don't phase control like a leash or reinforcement like toys or food at the same time as adding new challenges like a new location or harder distraction.
Master the distraction and location before
trusting to phase the leash or reinforcement.
How do we teach most things? We follow a relatively easy to follow formula.
✅️Make sure the dog can preform the behavior we eventually want. We don't add the verbal cue right away, because we don't want the dog to associate it with the wrong behavior.
✅️Lure or prompt with a hand cue
✅️Follow through to get the behavior
✅️Reinforce the behavior
Quickly you can phase the lure and hand signal leaving verbal cue and Reinforcement.
Phase out food treats by rewarding toys, privileges or by only every 3rd or fourth behavior.
Did you know many board and train companies require you to wait until six months old to start training? This is so the puppies can handle the type of methods they use. I strongly believe in avoiding problem behaviors before they get started!
We also don't use a kennel facility. Your puppy is trained real time in a home environment.
Get help with socialization, potty training, crate training, grooming handling, walking on leash, name recognition, stopping inappropriate puppy biting, prevent them from ever getting into the habit of jumping up.
Four weeks of boarding and training for your new puppy! This is the ultimate puppy boarding and training program specializing in teaching your puppy basic manners, crate training, focus and attention, potty training, chew toy training and off-leash reliability.
Our Puppy Boarding and Training program is split into two separate boarding stays.
First, your puppy will live with me for two weeks, focusing on engagement, name recognition, correct socialization with new dogs and people, potty training, grooming/handling skills, foundation obedience and confidence building. Your puppy will then return home and you’ll continue building on learned skills — with the support of your dog trainer of course.
Once your puppy is approximately six to seven months old, they’ll return for a 2 week brush up as well a the next level of advanced dog training, coming home knowing how to come when called even away from squirrels, go to their bed and stay until released, off-leash and more.
We are currently booking into March, so planning ahead is a must!
You want your puppy to teach your children responsibility, but your puppy is still learning to navigate the world... and where to p*e.
I challenge parents to help children learn responsibility though modeling and encouraging their children to take part in caring for their new puppy.
Very often parents are unsure of how to include their children in their puppy's raising. I truly believe that the sooner children get involved the better. Sometimes this means researching the breed, making a list of things to ask the shelter or breeder and sometimes even raising some or all the funds for the initial purchase price.
Hopefully this blog gives parents some ideas on including children in puppy care.
You may need to modify them depending on your child’s age.
✅️Pet your dog everyday- teach your child to gently pet the or puppy from head to butt.
✅️Feed the dog- Give them a pre-measured cup to drop in the bowl. If they spill a bit the puppy will take care of the mess.
✅️Enrichment- Allow them to help you stuff and make Enrichment toys like stuffed kongs a few times a week.
✅️Help brush the dog- have your kiddo help you brush the dog. At first they may only do one or two strokes, but as he gets older this can become his responsibility.
✅️Feed your dog and measure the portions sizes. Older kids can notify parents when the food gets low.
✅️ Daily Training Practice- let your children participate in setting goals for your dog. Sit stay for a whole minute, leave the treat while it's on their paws.
✅️ Create Enrichment ideas for the dog-Put the children in charge of coming up with a new Enrichment activity each week you will be surprised how creative they can be.
✅️Playing with the dog- Encourage them to play fetch, flirt stick, or make a homemade agility course out of things from the house and use treats to lure them through.
Ages 13 and older
By now your teenager should already be in the habit of feeding his dog, walking, brushing and training their dog. This is a great opportunity for them to start learning adult projects like scheduling vet appointments.
Put them in charge of scheduling important appointments.
✅️Vet appointments- go over with your kiddo how often your dog needs to go to the veterinarian and teach them to call and make their own appointments for their dog.
✅️puppy class– if you just got a new dog or puppy it’s a great time to have your teenager take responsibility attend puppy classes with their new dog. If you have an older dog this could be a great opportunity for a refresher course.
✅️Bath time and brushing– can be your child’s full responsibility at this age. Teenagers can also explore real grooming techniques like pet safe dye or using clippers to give theor dog a mohawk.
✅️Walking daily or running- if your child is in to sports it could be a great opportunity for your child to stay fit with your pet. Dogs need exercise and establishing a you can play the XBox after you walk the dog can be a great way to get the routine going.
What ways to your kids contribute to raising your dogs or pets?
You just brought home a new puppy. The whole family is excited and everyone is ready to participate. Your puppy is learning about the world around them ... with their teeth.
Remember, the first 6 months sets the stage for the rest of their life. Having a proactive plan sets them up for success so make sure you include your whole family right from the beginning while they are still engaged.
The sooner you start training, establishing good habits and teaching expectations the easier it will be.
Did you know that our most affordable rates are for puppies?
That is because we strongly believe in seeing our community be proactive puppy owners.
The Puppy Starter Package is for puppies who are signed up before 16 weeks old. This package consists of (6) one-hour in home sessions, where we give your family the skills to raise your puppy in a way that prevents behavior issues.
During this package your puppy will learn skills such as come, sit, leave it, down and stay. They will also learn skills such as door manners, cooperative care (relaxing for nail trims, ear cleaning or brushing), potty training, polite greetings, and going to their “place.” These sessions are completely customizable to fit your needs and goals.
We recommend that you sign up earlier then you would like to start since we do typically book 1 a month out.
My reactive dog class has been one of my favorites. I think it's because I get to see such a big transformation in the dogs.
“Temperament problems, must be prevented during early puppyhood because rehabilitating adult dogs is complicated and extremely time-consuming. For example; whereas it takes just a few days, or a week at the most, to resolve incipient signs of shyness, fearfulness, intractability, or aggression towards people in a two- to three-month-old puppy, it would take several months to resolve similar problems in a five-month old adolescent and one or two years to rehabilitate a fearful/aggressive eight-month-old, (provided that the dog is not dangerous, i.e., has never actually harmed a person).”
Dr. Ian Dunbar Veterinary Behaviorist
Today, Lake had the opportunity to learn to hold us down stay around sheep and cats.
Fetch is great, but it shouldn't be over done or the primary form of exercise for your dog. An half hour is plenty for most dogs, but a healthier form of exercise is free hiking or sniffing.
Here is why I don't think fetch should be the only form of exercise for your dog. It repetitive so it would be like running from one side of a football field touch and line and then to the other and touching a line. It opens dogs up to CCL Tears and repetitive strain injuries.
It has alot of benefits to but make sure you mix it up.
✅️Train leave it in the house. Start by teaching them to leave food then generalize it.
✅️Feed out of Kongs and enrichment feeders, ONLY ditch the bowl
✅️Don't leave your dog alone in the backyard or bring them in after one bark.
✅️Break the stare. If they are standing at the window waiting for someone to bark at tell them to "Leave it" before someone is there to work out.
✅️Make sure you are meeting their physical and mental needs first. If your dog’s only exercise is a 1/4 acre backyard it isn't enough unless you have an older English Bulldog. Try adding in a extra walk a day and extra few hikes a week or a new activity like fetch, swimming or agility. (Fetch should never be the primary form of exercise)
What are your puppy questions?
I need a little inspiration!
What's one thing your current dog has taught you?
What every dog should know that has nothing to do with obedience.
✅️A door left open isn't permission to run out.
✅️Body handling like dental checks, collar grabs, or paw checks aren't scary.
✅️How to be calm and relaxed around people and dogs.
✅️Pottying happens outside.
✅️Bite inhibition, how to use strong jaws and sharp teeth without hurting dogs and people.
✅️ What to chew
What does our Puppy Basic Package include?
I created to be perfect for teaching your puppy how to be a well behaved and mannered house dog. I show your family how to work on teaching obedience like come, down, stay, leave it, focus, go to your place and drop.
I also help your family troubleshoot any remaining puppy problems like chewing, biting, house soiling or crate training challenges.
We also set goals for manners that dit your goals and needs, not rushing down the stairs and knocking over the kids, not rushing out the door, not stealing food from the kids. During these sessions
I come out to your home for 6, 1-hour sessions to coach you and your family so you can raise an amazing well mannered family dog.
Accepting new clients for January.
New Puppy Tip
Teach your puppy to go to their crate on a verbal cue and teach them to stay in the crate with the door open.
This builds impulse control, manners around doors and will ensure that your puppy feels safe and comfortable in the crate before closing them up and leaving.
🐕🦺Service Dog Saturday🦮
I have really enjoyed working with Hadley teaching her the important job of providing balance for her mom.
Here are some of the most common questions we have gotten while out and about?
✅️Can I pet her? My answer is normally "No" for most of the service dogs I train because strangers rewarding them can mean an alert is missed or an owner falls down. Most dog's are social and this is a very rewarding activity which can compete with attention on the owner. Not all dogs are the same or situations, so my answer with her has been 'Yes' because I know her owner/handler will say yes so Hadley needa to work through this. She is also a very neutral dog so it's easy for her to totally ignore strangers.
✅️What does she do? She is learning to provide balance support and help her owner stand from sitting.
✅️Is it hard to train a service dog?
No it's not. It's basic obedience and manners plus task training which is essentially trick training.
However, not every dog can or should be a service dog. While the training isn't difficult the majority of dogs are not a good fit for the work.
If your dog can't look at you.
They can't heel around the kitchen.
If your dog can't heel around the kitchen.
They can't heel around the backyard.
If they can't heel around the backyard
They can't heel around the pet supply stores.
Teach your dog to look at you and focus on you. You can teach them to walk with you in the house. Teach your dog to do it in the backyard, then it will be easier out on a walk. Teach them to heel on a walk, then they have the tools to learn to heel at a pet supply store.
It's not fair to expect your dog to do things when you haven't taught them the foundations first. It's frustrating for you and your dog, so baby steps first. Don't ruah the process.
I guess they are both doing downstays!!!
I keep seeing in the local Facebook Groups people suggesting owners stop socialization during the critical period of socialization.
This can cause lifetime limitations on a dogs life.
😓According to the AVMA more dogs under 3 are euthanized for behavior than ALL infectious diseases COMBINED.
🐶Remember it doesn't have to be all or nothing. We never recommend the dog park for socialization and there are plenty of safe alternatives.
Choosing to forfit socialization for something that is the equivalent of slightly worse than a canine cold can have lifetime effects that could result in aggression, fear, reactivity, not being able to go on walks with the family, rehoming or worse.
Please share so this year's crop of Christmas puppies don't end up being another example of quarantine puppies.
Hadley went to Menards today to work on public access training. Our biggest goal for this week is slowing down on verbal cue and continuing confidence building.
One of Hadley's owner's major goals what her to be calm and relaxed even when little dogs were around, so I called on the help of Bruiser and Sassy two Pomeranians who are very off-leash trained to help with Hadley. We discovered very quickly after bringing Hadley home that she was VERY scared of small dogs, cats and chickens as is the case with many reactive dogs. This was Hadley's 3rd session with other dogs being loose around her and she finally started trying to play.
She has stopped reacting in public and its been wonderful to see her confidence grow.
Most of my board and train photos are done in a down stay, but Hadley has an important job. Her owner will depend on her for balance. If Hadley lays down while out walking or if her owner stops for a long time she would not only be not doing her job but she could pull her over.
No dogs, No kids, No cats would be a great fit for a farm.
As trainers we are seeing dogs with these types of labels in the hundreds, being given away by well meaning loving owners and adopted out by local shelters.
Here is the thing, most owners want a dog they can take for a walk and trust around other creatures, most people don't live on a farm with a 6 foot fence so their are only so many homes for these dogs that are growing in numbers.
It can also be a huge liability placing dogs like this, infact rescues, shelters and pet owners can be sued if they place a dog that a reasonable person would suspect to be dangerous and it hurts someone.
Yet, well meaning owners are STILL receiving the advice to wait to socialize during early puppyhood.
That's why we started this business. Proactive, Preventive and Early socialization to children, dogs and other animals can take place during the critical socialization window in a safe way.
A puppy can be well socialized without ever going to a dog park and it's alot easier to prevent problems than go through expensive behavior modification.
Hadley practicing down stay from a distance!
Reactive Dog Group Class was tonight and we worked on passing other dogs and recalling past other dogs.
Hadley has been a very busy girl out training!
🦮Service Dog Saturday 🦮
Do service dogs in training have access to public places also?
Maybe - It depends on your state laws as the ADA doesn’t apply to service dogs in training.
In Kentucky Yes!!
An assistance dog in training has access to the same public places as a service dog and may accompany a handler or trainer.
Just like a service dog their dogs in training maybe asked to leave if the dog's behavior isn't appropriate as long as the handler is allowed back into the store without the dog.
Photo of Hadley- She is learning to help with mobility assistance tasks like helping her owner stand and balance. We start in Pet friendly stores until we are confident she can be neutral and proform tasks there, then we move into other places.
Tonight we worked on teaching winnie that opened doors do not mean rush out.
We never asked Winnie to lay down. We just rewarded her for making good choices and she started to make the choice on her own.
Boarding away from home is tough. I think that Hadley is making herself at home.
Most people don't get the dogs to send them outside or to the shelter. The majority of well, meaning owners get their dog for companionship and to be alerted to a strangers.
Then why do we see dogs being left at shelters or sentenced to the tether in the backyard?
Behavior! People aren't training their puppies. The puppy becomes a teenager and is confused by the fact the whole family would pet her and love on her when she jumped to lick their faces now she is a 50 pound Labrador and she get kneed, yelled at or kicked outside for doing the same thing she has always done.
Owners, breeders and pet foster parents need to do better when these puppies are babies. They aren't going to the shelter just because they are moving back into the house with their parents... they are going to the shelter because they are moving back into the house with their parents and they don't want an unruly Labrador knocking over their mom, or eating the couch or p*eing on the new carpet. This is all stuff that should have been delt with in the first 16 weeks.
We have a pattern!!
Well trained dogs aren't being banished to the backyard they are out inthe front yard because the owner can call them back. Well trained dogs aren't being dumped at the shelter young teenage dogs who were never given guidance are being taken there. Big dog bodies with puppy brains or little breeds whose owners never took the time to take them outside and potty train them because they adopted the cute little puppy in the dead of winter now p*e pads are easier.
We have to do better!!
We have to start younger!!!
Proactive prevention not reactive!!
Please note I'm not saying older dogs can't learn these things. Adult dogs are highly trainable I've trained loads of them through the shelters, but why are we waiting for the problems?
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