Your family (maybe just you) has hopefully planned this day for awhile. Important decisions were made on where to get your new adult dog from. Breed generalities may have been studied. Family members have been consulted on what kind of dog they wish to have. Puppies have been decided against for many valid reasons. The day has arrived to pick up your new canine companion and future best friend. I want you to be aware of some common mistakes that may make your lives harder than they need to be.
Cities can be hard places to visit with your pets, in this case our dog, Shana. As it is, Shana has never really warmed up to crowds of people especially with dogs. I do train a lot with Shana, but city area training somewhat limited due to automobile troubles. Nonetheless, Shana is trained to an extent, and we felt it would be far more stressful to have her with a strange pet sitter. Cities are consumed with noises, crowds, and actually far more wildlife than you might see in the country on a daily basis. One thing did not think of is the amount of harmful objects that can be on the ground during your exploring in the city, especially off main roads or those that tourists know of. The cars drive aggressively, which can be a danger to you and your dog, if you don't take that into account. Often there are celebrations going on to attract the tourists and their money as well (in our case we went to a Jethro Tull Concert on our last evening). This post is about a few things that I learned, and a few things I considered while getting Shana ready in the short-term for our trip.
Getting your first dog or puppy is such an amazing time for most people. Like some other pets (like parrots for instance) they need our support as much as we need theirs. You can revel and enjoy the cute loving nature of your dog or puppy. Many, especially first time dog or puppy owners, make some mistakes that are avoidable if you know about them. The mission of this blog is to help dog and puppy owners with information like this. Btw, dog trainers make mistakes too, because not all dogs are alike. They have very individual personalities. At another time, we will address those too. In the meantime, here is some general advice on mistakes to avoid.
In the first series for this article, I am going to go over new puppies for new puppy owners, as this article will be too long otherwise. Later on in the month, we will go over adult dogs and rescue adult dogs.
Fall is a beautiful season, and winter weather follows in the not too distant future. Many people do not know what to do to keep their dogs active when conditions are not great to do outdoor activities. Luckily, there are things we can do with our dog when stuck inside.
In the last blog, we discussed the place command. The stay command, specifically, is a command that you can is part of a sit, down, or stand command. This is where you want your dog to stay in a certain position anywhere that you are.
The place command is one of the first things I start to teach with many dogs. This command combines a send away, a stay, a stay within a barrier, impulse control and calming exercise all in one. Additionally, this can be the very start on walking on leash with a puppy or dog. Some dog owners and trainers may only utilize the stay portion, but I feel the send away portion is very valuable as time goes on. Let me explain a little bit about this very useful exercise.
A trainer named, Heather Beck, came up with this design after becoming frustrated with another product's changes, the Gentle Leader. I have to admit that I have never been a fan of that product myself. In my opinion, Heather Beck made a better product which I prefer to call the Transitional Leash, but it is also sold as the Sidekick.
This is a great tool for both training and for behavioral modification or change, in my opinion. Remember though, the tool never trains the dog. The dog owner, trainer or handler trains the dog with the use of the tool. We will go over how this tool can help and how it works.
There is a quote passed around by many professional dog trainers "What your dog can't do on leash, they can't do off leash". Leashes are very important pieces of dog training equipment, but they aren't talked about that much in pet dog training circles. They really deserve our respect, because leashes are a life line to a dog in training, who will be enjoying some off leash freedom some day beyond confined areas (fences, walls of a building, and so on).
Author, Robin Rubin
Owner and Head Dog Trainer in Maine, Robin Katherine Rubin, started her Maine dog training business in September 2004. Our dog training facility is located in Southern Maine in York Beach and we help families enjoy their dogs more, making sure they listen reliably and resolving unwanted behaviors.