This blog is a tribute to Belle, and all the dogs who have come before and after. They are my friends, my companions, my teachers and my students. They bring me both joy and heartache, laughter and tears. There is nothing as sweet as the smell of puppy breathe, and nothing as sad as the final goodbye.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A few truths I've learned... By Sean O'shea

-Leading dogs makes them happier, more secure, less stressed, better behaved, more fun, happier.
-Correcting bad behavior is the way to change bad behavior. Make bad behavior uncomfortable and good behavior comfortable.
-Redirecting and offering alternatives doesn't stop bad behavior. It only does what it says.
-Sharing consequences for poor choices is your job and responsibility, whether you enjoy it or not.
-Positive reinforcement is awesome for teaching what you want, not so awesome for teaching what you don't.
-99% of dog issues come from permissiveness, allowance, softness, doting.
-People treat dogs like glass. They're hearty, robust creatures. Their minds and bodies are more resilient than we give them credit for.
-E-collars and prong collars, although terribly named, are typically the most effective and easiest tools on the dog.
-E-collars and prong collars, although terribly named, are typically the most effective and easiest tools on the owner.
-Dogs, like kids, will resist structure, leadership, and guidance. And just like kids, they'll either thrive because of them or suffer in their absence.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Rin Tin Tin and Rusty

Rin Tin Tin IV was co-owned and trained by Lee Duncan and Frank Barnes of Hollywood, California. Frank Barnes, a fine motion picture dog trainer of "Flame" and "Gray Shadow" German Shepherds, handled Rin Tin Tin IV on tour promoting the television show.

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Monday, May 1, 2017

Should I Call a Dog Trainer?

There are many reasons people give up their dogs. First and foremost it is because of seemingly out of control behavior issues. Issues ranging from destructive chewing, house soiling, uncontrollable barking, jumping, lunging and growling at other dogs to more dangerous behaviors including food guarding, biting and fighting with another dog in the home. The reasons are varied and I could go on and on adding to the list. What matters in the end is that if that dog’s behavior doesn’t change he will end up either re-homed if he is lucky, or more often than not, he will end up in a shelter where he has a good chance of dying.

 I know you love your dog and I know you have reached your limit.  You have poured through training books trying to make sense out of the often conflicting advise you are told. You have listened to your friends, your relatives and the so-called dog experts in your neighborhood or local dog park. But still, the bad behaviors persist, or worse, they become more pronounced. So now you have a choice to make, either get rid of the dog or bite the bullet and seek professional help.

 How I wish you had called me early on, before the bad habits had taken hold. It is so much easier to instill good habits than it is to break bad ones.  If there is one piece of advise I could give to new dog owners it would be this: Don’t wait until your dog’s behavior is out of control or dangerous before you seek professional help. The sooner a problem is dealt with, the easier the fix.  If you’ve never had a dog before, or never had ‘that type’ of dog before, call a trainer. Call us when your 12-week-old puppy can’t play with you without biting. Call us when your puppy is a bundle of energy that seems to never subside. Pay attention to his behavior. If you see behaviors that make you uncomfortable give us a call.  Don’t wait until the choice is between a trainer and a shelter.  There is help out there. It is up to you to ask for it.