After watching a much-loved dog who was clearly in a great deal of pain recently, I decided to create this blog. Please review it, share it, teach each other. The more of us who have "eyes to see" the more dogs can be helped. Thank you!
If you have comments or questions, stop by The Daily Dog forum and ask.
Pip and I have lived in the country together and now, in my new home, we are in the ‘burbs. My lot, enormous by local standards, is tiny by my own. Having lived in 125 acres in NY and then 6+ NH, my 1/3 acre lot in St. Louis is a major shift.
While waiting for the rain to stop so the baseball game could begin a few days back, a woman with an open face and ready smile told me how her dog, who was otherwise friendly, was getting worse and worse when people came over. At this point she was just putting the dog away.
Two phrases caught my attention: “otherwise friendly” and “worse and worse”. When I asked a bit more, it turns out that the dog is just fine with guests within a few minutes of arrival. Also, this is a border collie mix.
We have the most wonderful little dog who is going on 6 yrs old, weighs a whopping 6 pounds, has a wonderful personality around all family and friends, but WOW a very aggressive alpha personality when we walk her in the neighborhood and we meet up with other dogs.
Just got this in the mail. Adorable right? Not to us dog pros!
Let me say, right off the bat, that I love this company. Love their focus on dogs as part of the family and on using customer photos on their catalogs. I'm a long-time Orvis customer, which is why I get their catalog.
However, this cover models behavior that gets kids bitten.
In the face.
Our human patten of approaching the ones we love and shoving our faces together to kiss is not one shared by dogs. In fact, that can be seen by dogs as rude at best and an attack at worst.
"Leave it" is one of those commands that can save your dog's life. It means, quite simply, stop focusing on that thing right now - good dog!
When training your puppy, "down" means lie down on the ground immediately, without hesitation, doubt, or delay. Many people have never seen what this looks like and, as in all things, it is hard to get somewhere you don't have the mental address for.
In short: yes.
It can happen by happy accident or it can be part of a careful breeding program. When looking for a new family dog, seek out a dog who adores your children. A-D-O-R-E-S! Goes all ears-back, tail-waggy, melt-in-your-hands squiggly for them.
Please take this survey. It is simple and it is quick.
Please share it with friends.
The more "yes" answers you have, the more worried I am about your dog.
Please seek help immediately from a qualified dog professional if your dog shows any of these behaviors.
If he is an intact male, please neuter him! Yesterday, if not sooner.
Dogs don't fear praising people.
Obvious, right? But why is it true? Because dogs aren't hurt or overwhelmed when people are praising. Praise is a consistent, clear signal of "no harm coming your way" from the praising person.
Understand this and you can help dogs who are frightened or defensive get passed their past. By linking happy praise with situations where their history has taught them to be doubtful, you can change their tension into willingness to trust/try.
Years ago, a doggy friend told me: Training for advanced obedience is like trying to hold 20 corks under water at the same time.
She meant that with complicated training tasks when you focus on one area some other area will weaken or revert or, for the purposes here, bob to the surface.
You want your dog to change? Want to see big results in a few days? Try these 6 things:
Keep It Simple
Here we are at the end of this series. Now, where was I? Right, I had a calmer dog who was seeking some contact and was able to stand still. At that point I started to work with “Sit.” For this sort of dog, “The Simple Sit” is my favorite tool.
I am sitting in a chair in the middle of the classroom, observing this dog. He keeps moving - not touching me, not looking at me. This looks like the physical manifestation of doubt and worry to me; like this is the best idea he has at the moment. I want to give him a better one and I begin that process with wanting him to be calm to touch.
This dog moves around me as I sit quietly in the chair. I do not fidget or shuffle. I am talking as I teach, but if I were alone with him I would be silent. I’m observing him closely. He doesn’t so much as glance at me, his attention is everywhere else. I considered three of my options:
The handsome black-and-white rescue dog looks around the room as he trots within the range of his leash. His handler, calm and experienced, catches every good moment this dog gives to him, rewarding it well. While this creates a pause, within seconds the dog is moving again, disconnected again.
My feet slap the ground jarring my legs with each step but I do not slow. The frozen mud of winter’s waiting must be passing beneath me but I do not notice. It may have been a nice day out, there may be birds calling through the otherwise winter barren trees, who knows?
Pip can be a patient dog. She has to be with the amount of time I can spend in cyberspace.
The huge puppy stood still. He looked at me; his inner wheels obviously turning. Slowly he sat, watching me carefully. As his rear lowered I grinned, as his rear touched the floor a stream of warm praise surged out, then I reached for the treat I knew he loved. Stroking him as I delivered a goodie, we lingered in that happy moment, then I stepped away.
Yet another dog plummeted off a cliff in the UK this week. He lived. And that’s the news part of it since most of them don’t. And the UK isn’t the only place that happens. The sign here is from the US.
Here is a simple rule: Don't bet your dog’s life on your verbal control alone.