I am a certified dog obedience trainer with almost 20 years of experience working with rescue and shelter dogs. Today I work with trainer Kristin Minnie at The Local Bark, her boarding, daycare and training facility in Rancho Cordova where together we are able to provide dog owners help with everything from basic obedience to severe behavioral problems.
We’ve all met (and maybe even live with) a dog overcome with what we in the dog training business have dubbed a “greeting disorder.” This is the dog that answers the door with an over-the-top exuberant welcoming ritual complete with jumps, barks and invasive sniffing. Some dog owners view this as simply part of their particular dog’s personality, and reluctantly tolerate it. Others find it annoying, but tolerate it because their dog isn’t showing any true “bad” behaviors. Regardless, there’s bound to be a time when it’s not appropriate, or at the very least, super embarrassing (think invasive sniff on that not-really-a-dog-person person). So, what to do? First, download this Dog in Trai
New puppy? Keep in mind: from day one puppy is learning both good and bad habits. Between five and 10 months of age many puppies move into adolescence, and any problem behaviors you haven’t dealt with are bound to intensify. Puppy problems don’t go away on their own; they tend to get worse. That said, focus on the following areas: Household Manners Housetraining, chewtoy-training, and teaching your puppy alternatives to natural (but undesirable) behaviors, such jumping, nipping, recreational barking or destructive chewing, is your most urgent priority. From day one, try managing the puppy’s environment so mistakes are virtually impossible to make. Create a confinement schedule and have p
We thought this column – a rerun of Ask the Trainer from last year’s holiday season – would be helpful. Ann will post a new column next month. Enjoy! As dog lovers we tend to be extremely tolerant of what some might perceive as “unmannerly” behavior by our dogs. We’re used to our bulldog’s habit of smooshing his face (and sometimes-droolly mouth) up against our leg to say “welcome home.” We don’t mind when our yorkie jumps into our lap as we settle on the couch. And when our exuberant golden thrusts her nose “south of the border” we understand that she’s just reacquainting herself with us after a long day. While these normal dog behaviors might be no big deal on a regular day, imagine a
If you’re like me, you probably don’t often think about personal space, that is, until someone invades it uninvited. Dogs, on the other hand, are acutely aware of their personal space, and usually have no problem communicating this to a fellow canine when it’s being invaded. We see this in any manner of growls, snarls and snaps, and the message is clear, “Move it!” As humans we tend to be more “polite” to our fellow citizens, our signals more subtle. Where things get confusing inter-species is when we humans, who regularly encourage the invasion of our personal space by our dogs (to us it’s affection), change the rules about when to encroach or not encroach on our bubble. Most people don
This installment of Ask the Trainer is about meeting your dog’s exercise requirements. Wait! Don’t click away – I know it’s a touchy subject, but I have some new ideas which don’t require you to recast yourself as “athlete.” But seriously, the first question I ask when someone calls me about training is the dreaded question about exercise and mental stimulation. How much is your dog getting and is it enough? I say “dreaded” because chances are the dog isn’t getting what it needs to be balanced (after all, people are only calling me if they’re having problems), and most owners are aware of this and feel some level of guilt. Unfortunately, however, lack of exercise is the number one cause