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

Teach Your Dog to LOVE Getting in the Car!

Teach Your Dog to LOVE Getting in the Car!

Every dog should learn certain life skills, and enjoying getting into and out of a car is an important one. While it’s not necessary for smaller dogs to learn this skill, because they’re easily portable, it’s vital for medium and large-sized dogs. With that said, sometimes it’s not an easy behavior to teach dogs, especially if they’ve had negative car riding experiences before. Plus, it’s scary jumping into a high SUV, especially if a dog or puppy has fallen while jumping up in the past. The key to getting your dog in the car is to make the act of … Continue reading

Preparing Your Dog For Back-to-School Time

Preparing Your Dog For Back-to-School Time

August has just arrived, and while many folks are still enjoying the summer time soaking up the sun and splashing in the water, the thought of school is not that far off. Some families are already preparing!   While items such as bookbags, notebooks, and pencils are being added to shopping lists, the transition from summer sun to school-time fun could actually be a stressful one for pets. Here are a few of my FiveSibes™ “golden rules” to help ease the change for our furry best friends and their human pals: Practice Makes Perfect (Sense) Before the first day of … Continue reading

Why You Should Always Give Your Dog a Choice…

Why You Should Always Give Your Dog a Choice...

The young boy in class adored his puppy. It was a delight to see how proud he was of her, and how attentive he was to everything being taught. Carl was 10 years old, and animals were clearly his passion. He was more diligent in his practice than many of the adults. And I was particularly impressed with how quickly he grasped this concept: Don’t beg your dog! Many of the owners were trying to coax their puppy to pay attention to them. They waved treats in front of their inattentive noses. They bent over and called their name repeatedly. Some … Continue reading

Is Your Dog Stubborn or Just Trying to Tell You Something?

Is Your Dog Stubborn or Just Trying to Tell You Something?

There are a few variations in the definition of stubborn but this is the most concise “difficult to move, remove, or cure.”   When a client tells me their dog is “stubborn”, it always leads me into asking MANY more questions. I will ask about the situations, I will ask about past experiences, I will ask them how they respond to the “stubborn” behavior and I will ask about their dog’s body language. When I ask these questions, I want as much detail as possible. Because dogs do not use verbal language (the language that most humans understand), I really … Continue reading

2 Important Dog Training Resources: Time and Space

2 Important Dog Training Resources: Time and Space

Time This is the first of 2 resources that are rarely talked about when we refer to a dog’s resources. I think it’s fair to say we may hear a term like “resource guarding” and we know it refers to a dog’s toys or food, but how do we control a dog’s time? The obvious answer is keeping track of how long each activity lasts. We can control time by how long their training sessions are, how long the walks are, and how long they get to eat. Even though dogs are always in the present state of mind, we still … Continue reading

5 Effective Ways to Calm a High Energy Dog

5 Effective Ways to Calm a High Energy Dog

A dog with a high energy level can be a challenge to deal with on a daily basis. Depending on the breed, certain dogs require more mental and physical exercise. Otherwise, their pent up energy may lead to destructiveness, nervousness, separation anxiety, and aggressive tendencies.   Not only is it important to drain your dog’s energy physically, it is also important to drain your dog mentally. Below are five solutions for satisfying your dog’s mental and physical needs: A Calm Dog Walk First and foremost, frequent dog walks are very important, between 20 to 45 minutes a day, multiple times … Continue reading

Simple Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called!

Simple Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called!

As a trainer, I often get calls from people who want to know how to teach their dog to reliably come when called. To teach the dog to come when called (or improve a less than stellar recall in a dog), start with some basic exercises and avoid doing things that take away from the training. Initially, train in a safe, fenced, distraction-free area. Make a note of what your dog finds rewarding. It might be high value treats like dehydrated meat, or toys or a game of tug. Build a strong relationship with the dog by using rewards in … Continue reading

What Does Your Dog Mean to You?

What Does Your Dog Mean to You?

What role does he/she play in your life? While conversing with others, I usually manage to steer the conversation around to my favorite subject… dogs!   People are aghast to learn, not only that I am a multiple-dogs parent, but that they live inside with me. Seriously?! To me they are family members. Would you ask your Uncle Henry to sleep in the barn or fenced in back yard? I think not. My dogs are my life and throughout the decades, I have owned at least one. I don’t even like to use the word ‘own’ even though the courts … Continue reading

The Evolution of Dog Training

The Evolution of Dog Training

Over the years dog training has evolved just like almost everything else in the world! Although evolution and change can be scary, it is an important part of our lives.   As humans, we are constantly striving for “something better” or to learn more about things. Because we have a desire for “something better,” we have eliminated deadly diseases, we have mini computers in our pockets, we can travel around the world and we live much longer. These changes did not come easy and many people feared the changes. Change can be scary and if we learn that we have … Continue reading