Why You Should Get Expert Advice When Selecting a Dog

Why You Should Get Expert Advice When Selecting a Dog

Leaving home to go off to college? Starting your first big career opportunity? Getting married? Buying a house? Having your first child? Getting divorced? A family member gets ill, disabled or passes away?    There are many big life-changing events that occur that would benefit from research and expert guidance. Same goes to when you finally make the big decision to add a puppy or dog to your life for the first time. You are entering an unknown reality. You see your friends with dogs and it looks all really great or it could be a nightmare situation. Throw your … Continue reading

The World Of Working Dogs

The World Of Working Dogs

My husband suggested this topic to me as he said he didn’t realize how many sorts of working dogs there were. So welcome to the world of Working Dogs!   My first true connection to working dogs was by meeting Rita Martinez back in 2002 as she was a SF/SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers presenter. Her work at the time was with Search and Rescue doing cadaver work. If you are interested in learning more check out her work. Forensic Evidence Canines: Status, Training and Utilization and Cadaver Scent Project. Rita has since transitioned to Diabetic Alert, Medical Alert, Seizure Alert, Hearing, Assistance … Continue reading

Junior’s First Trip to the Dog Park

Junior's First Trip to the Dog Park

We can all agree that dogs are social animals. Getting proper socialization starting at 10-12 weeks of age is critical.   The new approach to socialization is to have a balanced approach to their immune vulnerability and their emotional development. You have to mindfully expose your puppy to various environments, people, noises, surfaces, dogs, other species, objects, etc before their critical window shuts down at about 16 weeks of age. After that you will be doing remedial socialization, again being mindful on how you expose your youngster to novel stimuli. Dogs reach young adulthood at about 6 months of age … Continue reading

Who’s Training Whom? Dog Training Tips…

Who's Training Whom? Dog Training Tips...

Did you know that if you are not actively-(being present) in training (teaching) your dog, chances are they are training you? The reason Dog Trainers exist is because people and dogs have difficulty living together. We include dogs into our families to enjoy them and have a bond, however, there are sometimes cultural clashes where there is misunderstanding, head-butting, frustration or worse. Fix my dog. Can you get him to stop…x? I want my dog to behave. My dog doesn’t listen to me. My dog only listens to my husband. The reason dogs are abused, neglected, relinquished, abandoned, or tortured, … Continue reading

The Exciting Launch of ISpeakDog.org!

The Exciting Launch of ISpeakDog.org!

Have you ever seen an unknown or known person interact with their dog in a manner that made you cringe or made you mad? I remember witnessing a middle aged woman beating her small dog that was on a flexi with the handle part. In my mind 1) it was not pleasant to watch 2) how can I make a change and 3) what did the dog do to deserve such treatment? Dogs behave as dogs do, unfortunately millions of dogs are relinquished to shelters, abandoned, tortured or killed due to our misunderstandings of dog behavior and our “sacred cow” … Continue reading

Dog Training Philosophies: Medical Model, Behavioral Model and Knee-Jerk Reactions

Training Tips for Your Dogs to Properly Communicate With You

Most of our dog pet owners are not aware that there are different philosophies/approaches to “training” a dog and more so how to approach solving behavior problems.   There are two main veins of approach even though I titled with three; two of them go together. Medical Model see “problem behavior” as if it’s a disease.   The “trainer”, “counselor” or “veterinary behaviorist” may take a history of your dog and come up with a diagnosis for the behavior and label it something like “dominance aggression”. This approach focuses too heavily on the “symptoms” presented and do little to address … Continue reading

5 Tips for Making Cold Winter Nights With Your Dog Fun!

Winter Nights With Your Pet Dog: How to Enjoy Time With Your Dogs

It’s that time of year again where it’s cold and dark at 16:00 and depending if you live in the city, suburbs or country you still need to keep your dog’s learnt behaviors sharp and maybe just maybe you can venture into new territory and work on some new things during these few winter months.   So what can you work on in the house?  Here are a few suggestions: Verify your dog’s understanding of cues or better yet… What have you really taught your dog?   Ask your dog for simple behaviors like: sit, down, stand. Now can you … Continue reading

Resource Guarding or Space Invasion? Reasons for Aggressive Outburts in Dogs

Aggressive Outburts: Understanding Your Dogs Further

Labels like Resource Guarding can blind us to other possible explanations to aggressive outbursts by our companion dog.   The common understanding of resource guarding is that your dog may show the following behaviors: tense, stiff, give you a non-wavering gaze, lip retraction to show teeth, growling, snapping, and/or biting when a person or other animal approaches. This behavior usually occurs only when a person or other animal approaches your dog while: meal preparation, eating, sleeping, has a toy, by a “favorite” place or there might be a “new” item brought into the house, food/treats/vomit, anything related to meals – … Continue reading