I’ve been hearing a whole lot of talk about prey drive as opposed to general reactivity when it comes to dogs lately. Prey drive and reactivity are different, fundamentally, in that we usually assume that a dog that is dog-reactive outside is upset by other dogs. This means the dog doesn’t play well with others and lives in a one dog only home. When we think of prey drive, we are usually referring to small non-dog animals such as cats and rodents. While some dogs might attack and kill cats or rodents, dogs aren’t upset by these things — they just really want to getRead More →

teach your dog to love grooming

There are two types of dogs in the world:  dogs that like being touched and dogs that don’t.  Okay, I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. The good news is, we can fix it with training. You can teach your dog to be cool at the groomer! It’s never too late to start working on getting your dog used to body handling. In a perfect world, we start at puppyhood getting our dogs used to their paws and ears and backsides being touched. However, we don’t always have that luxury if we adopt or the dog has a traumatic episode while they’re young (likeRead More →

So I’ll admit that before I met Chris and her dogs, I considered myself “a cat person.” I’d had dogs growing up, but they were yard dogs who didn’t sleep in our beds. As an adult, I’d always had cats as pets. Of course it was a big adjustment to living with two dogs at first, even though they were little. Now of course I love all the dogs to pieces and couldn’t imagine life without them. Dogs are great for different reasons than cats, but they’re still awesome. That said, I have some tips about dogs for people who are used to cats, littleRead More →

If you’ve ever looked at breed descriptions, you’ll see that every single one of them says that the dog needs a “brisk walk” every single day, but what does that really mean? Wouldn’t a brisk walk be different from a Yorkshire terrier versus a black Labrador?  Yes! They would be different.  So how do you know how much exercise to give your dog?   Good question.  It all goes by temperament and personality.  Most dogs are cool to pall around all day with their owners, walking for hours, but some dogs are generally low energy while some dogs are really high energy.  Walks have toRead More →

One of the most common behavior problems that can end in a dog being surrendered to a shelter is JUMPING!  Jumping is a major issue with young, small, and medium dogs.  The thing is, this is natural behavior. So why do dogs jump? For the most part, dogs jump because they’re excited and because humans are tall!  Dogs will often jump to get at something high up or during play.   Even though jumping is one of the biggest problems with dog owners, it’s one of the easiest problems to fix.  You can’t stop the dog from jumping ever again, but you can stop the dogRead More →

If you’re adopting a dog, there’s a good chance that you’re going to end up adopting a dog that’s got some anxiety.  Sometimes the dog can have fear aggression, fear anxiety, all kinds of things.  But the thing about all of these problems with dogs is that they’re actually pretty easy to fix.   Most dog issues boil down to either dogs being misunderstood by their owners or the dog not getting enough exercise.  Some cases definitely need the help of a behaviorist, but before you seek out a behaviorist or a trainer, make sure your puppy is getting all of his needs met toRead More →

Hey guys, this week we’re going to discuss two quick and easy commands.  Those commands are “Drop it” and “take it”.  Last week I talked about how to teach your dog to leave things, so if you haven’t checked that out, you can do so HERE.   This week it’s all about dropping things he shouldn’t have!  I consider this the second most because ideally we should be able to say leave it.  But the world isn’t perfect, of course, so you have to teach him to drop things he’s not supposed to have, too.   “Take it” is almost like a release word, butRead More →

There are some people in this world that think that dogs should perform for us just because we want them to, but no one goes to work because their boss wants them to.  They go for the paycheck and you can’t expect your dog to be different.   Treats mean different things to different dogs.  For some dogs, just your praise is enough, but that’s definitely not true for all dogs!  Some dogs love toys, and others you just have to stick with the food rewards. Every single dog is food motivated.  I know, you’ve got that one friend that says their dog doesn’t like treatsRead More →

I have news for you, the most important command that you will ever teach your dog ISN’T “Sit!”.  It’s “Leave it”.  The principle of this command is simple.  All you want your dog to do is leave the thing that he’s focused on.  This command can apply to absolutely anything from accidentally dropped pills to other animals and humans.   There are two other commands you can pair with “leave it” to make the whole process really fun for your pup.  You can also teach him to “drop it” and “take it”.   Just for fair warning.  This is another LONG detailed post, but betterRead More →

Do you feel like you’re repeating commands constantly with your dog? Or that they listen when you’re inside but as soon as you take them outside they could care less?  That’s common and a completely normal problem to have.  Sometimes dogs do that because other things are really interesting (c’mon they live for going outside) or just because they don’t realize that they have to because they’ve never had to before.  That’s common with rescue dogs that aren’t used to being trained.   Let’s look at some ways to get your dog to listen better.  I’m warning you now.  This post is LONG and THOROUGH withRead More →