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

Important Tips for Crating Your Dog

Important Tips for Crating Your Dog

If you were anything like me growing up, you never had a crate for your dog let alone heard of one. These were the times of letting our dogs run loose to visit the neighbors and the neighbor’s dogs would come visit us. I remember my dad cutting a cardboard box in half that a refrigerator came in. Then he cut out a slot for our dogs to get in and out of the boxes, and after putting in a garbage bag full of fleece scraps it was quite the cozy place for our dogs on the patio. Little did … Continue reading

Top 4 Puppy Life Lessons

Top 4 Puppy Life Lessons

Welcoming a puppy into the family is an exciting and busy time spent getting to know the pup, building a bond and of course lots of puppy cuddles! It’s easy to get caught up in house training and basic obedience training, such as learning to sit and walk on the lead, that teaching important puppy life skills might be missed out on. The following life lessons will help your pup to grow into a happy, confident and stable adult dog who is a pleasure to own. Socialisation Early puppy socialisation between 12-16 weeks old is the most crucial stage of … Continue reading

5 Tips for Polite Leash Walking Like a Pro

5 Tips for Polite Leash Walking Like a Pro

Has walking your dog become a battle of wills over who will be dragging who in what direction?   Polite leash walking can be a frustrating endeavor for many dogs and owners but the good new is by following a few tips, you can help your dog learn how to make walks more enjoyable for the both of you.   1. Walking outside with all the new sights and smells can be highly distracting for dogs who are working on their polite leash walking. To help your dog focus on what you are trying to teach them, try working in … Continue reading

Debunking Common Dog Training Myths

Debunking Common Dog Training Myths

Some dog training wives’ tales boggle my mind.   Many years ago I worked with George, an elderly man who had cerebral palsy. Because he had very limited use of the left side of his body, he could not hold a leash with his left hand and his left leg dragged behind him when he walked. When I met George, he was struggling to work with his Jack Russell Terrier, Emily. Another trainer told George that he had to walk Emily on his left side. (Some trainers require dogs walk this way because walking on the left is a requirement … Continue reading

Why I DON’T Train My Clients’ Dogs to Heel

Why I DON'T Train My Client's Dogs to Heel

In the basic obedience classes I teach as a dog trainer, I don’t spend hours training the dogs to heel. I don’t even spend much time on loose-leash walking as a trained behavior. I simply direct my students to the smorgasbord of anti-pull gear at the local pet store (front-clip harnesses and head halters), and move on to other items on the curriculum, like safety recalls, jumping up, and leave-it. It’s not that training dogs to heel isn’t fun–it certainly can be, if we toss the out-moded leash-pop and use a modern training plan. But few of my students actually … Continue reading

Just How Similar Are Dog’s Emotions to Ours?

Just How Similar Are Dog's Emotions to Ours?

Many people have experienced behavior in their dogs that leads the owner to believe that dogs are capable of feeling emotions similar to those felt by humans. Not only do dogs appear to experience a wide range of emotions, studies show that dogs recognize emotions in other dogs and in humans. The results of a study by a team of animal behaviour experts and psychologists from the University of Lincoln, UK, and University of Sao Paulo, Brazil led the researchers to believe that dogs truly recognise emotions in humans and in other dogs and can discriminate between positive and negative … Continue reading

The Positive Relationship Between Inmates and Dogs

The Positive Relationship Between Inmates and Dogs

The American criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people according to the most recent Prison Policy Initiative Report. Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, according to the ASPCA.   These two very different problems in our country seem to reach a crossroads with the inclusion of inmate trained shelter dog programs in correctional facilities across the nation. With inmates helping to train dogs available for adoption, the dogs are benefiting and so are the inmates. With the advantages associated with these programs, shelters and prisons are coming together all across the country to … Continue reading

10 Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy on Rainy Days

10 Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy on Rainy Days

Spring is here! And while there is still plenty of snow in some parts of the world (specifically meaning my part of the world here in Ontario) we still know that gorgeous spring weather is on its way! That being said, all that warm sun, and blooming flowers also means lots of rain and mud. So what do you do when it’s raining outside and you and your dog are cooped up inside? Today, I will share 10 ways to keep your dog busy on rainy days. 1. Hide and sniff. Playing games with your dog doesn’t only strengthen your … Continue reading

How Owning a Dog Can Make You More Sociable

How Owning a Dog Can Make You More Sociable

One thing is for sure. If you have a dog you have no choice but to exercise it. That means getting up off the couch and heading out the front door.   And depending on what age, breed and energy level your dog is will depend on how much exercise and stimulation they need. So here are 3 ideas to help you meet people while out with your dog: Talk to People at the Dog Park Dogs have a way of bringing people together! So take your dog to a dog park in your area. Then, strike up a conversation with another dog person. I’m a pretty shy person by nature, … Continue reading