Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Finding Time for the Dog

It always amazes me when folks tell me they haven't done training with their dog because they don't have the time.  I know we live in a crazy busy world, and when you add kids on top of it craziness doubles!  Often I hear "well I can't train the dog, the kids are so busy right now!".  Yep, I get it, but I like to gently remind folks that when you brought your dog into your house, you made a commitment, not a "well when we have time we'll work with you".  The dog that gets put on the back burner per se is the dog that probably needs the work the most.  He's the guy that is happy and fun, but is lacking in manners and obedience, thus he doesn't get to go to the baseball or football games to watch his kid.  He stays at home.  He is the dog that gets put away when company comes because he's too excited.  He is the dog that starts to act out because he's frustrated and bored.

So folks, when you bring a dog into your life...bring him in!!!  Give him what he needs, food, love, a roof over his head and training!  If your life is too busy, wait to bring a dog into your family.   When time allows, then do so.  People often forget that dogs will require some of your time.  Be sure you have it to give and then go for it!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rules at Home!

Folks often forget that whatever you allow your dog to do/be at home will show itself out in public (or when company comes over!).  As a trainer I hear how good a dog can be in class, but at home is still acting up some.  This tells me the dog respects the rules we have in class, along with the leash, but at home all those rules are out the window!  Look at your dog with wide open eyes - could you do a reality show where your dog's activities would be on national t.v. and be happy with it?  Well, alot of us say no to that, so no worries if you do too!  However, why should your rules be different at home than out in public?  Yes, at home the dog can relax, be himself, etc.  But being himself does not mean he ges to run the show in the house.  It doesn't mean you get to run like a crazy dog around my living room using my couch and chairs as trampolines!  It doesn't mean barking at every little thing that goes by our house.  It doesn't mean you steal any thing that takes your fancy and run off with it. 

Rules and structure - been lots of my own blogs on it.  It's important - it tells the dog from the get-go that this house is under control and so are you!  Great thing is you can use your obedience to help.  I want folks to use their obedience every single day, at least 4-5 times (which isn't much!) where you are telling the dog to down stay, come, or wait at a door before going out on a walk.  All done on home turf!  Get your dog used to the rules, and of course the consequences.  If I have a dog that decides to do crazy loops around the house, the leash comes out and you're put in a down stay at my feet for 10 minutes.  If I don't have time for that, it's a time out in your crate, and when you come out you better be calmer.  Let's face it, we all want our dogs to enjoy themselves with us, but not at the cost of my furniture, my belongings or myself!

So think on how that dog would fare in a reality show!  I know that if we did one around my basset boy Cosby, it would be very entertaining.  He is just enough naughty (like launching himself at me when I'm in my chair to get into my lap - comes at me from a dead run!!) to keep us all laughing, but he is constantly reminded that I ALLOW the naughty, he isn't entitled to it!  Like my mother used to say when I would go out on a date (waaay back in the day!).. "Don't do anything that you wouldn't want printed in the morning paper!"   As always, love them dogs up!