Category Archives: Training

Play and the Importance of Time

Phoebe doing Urban Agility

I’ve blogged many times about my dog Phoebe since  she was given to me last year by a client. When they got her from a shelter in 2009 she was a growly shaky mess at people and dogs. Phoebe’s previous owners had a baby in 2010 and despite her overall improvement, her aggressive displays when people came over worried them. She never bit anyone but she definitely nipped at heels and could be pretty nasty and scary looking when she was scared. I think they made the right decision for their family and I was grateful to keep her since she and I had developed quite a bond in the time we’d worked together.

When I got Phoebe in January 2010, I immediately enrolled us in an agility class. She had some basic obedience commands but as a scaredy dog she really needed to build her confidence by learning new skills. At the beginning of our 6 week class she was afraid of the jumps and tunnels. By the end she was showing off and so proud of herself to be able to navigate these new challenges. After that we turned Brooklyn into our own urban agility course. I’d have Phoebe jump on stoops etc. as we walked through the neighborhood. Anything that she could stand or walk on I’d cue her to jump on and give her treats. This made walks a lot more fun for both of us.

Phoebe still was a bit growly and barky when meeting new dogs on the street on leash. We realized we we not helping the situation by pulling her away with the leash and saying her name in a stern voice. In fact, we realized by doing that we were cueing her to freak out. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but we started dropping her leash when we met other dogs. We greeted them first using a happy voice while Phoebe snuck around and investigated them from behind. This seemed to help her anxiety meeting other dogs and she’s improved with that as well.

As for people who wanted to say hello to her, we would hand them a treat and have her give them high fives etc so she was more focused on doing tricks and getting treats than worrying about a new person. It also kept new people from scaring her by reaching over her head (which most dogs don’t like) and petting her inappropriately. Shy dogs appreciate a sideways approach and an underhand chin scratch greeting more than a stranger’s hand coming over their head and patting it.

We take her several times a week up to Prospect Park for off leash hours. Mostly she would stick close to us and occasionally growl or bark at other people or dogs. Sometimes she would play with us and run around if we were away from the other dogs. Again over time this improved but aside from occasionally sniffing other dogs, she’d stick with us.

So imagine my surprise the other morning when she met another little terrier named Toby and actually started to engage in play, jumping around, running, bowing in play pose with a big grin on her face. She had never played with another dog before! Then she met a little Pomeranian down the street from our house named Richie and started doing the same thing. I almost cried with joy.

It can be hard having a rescue dog with issues and sometimes you wonder if they’ll ever feel stable enough to come out of them. Phoebe is proof to me that with time and consistent positive training a dog can get better and have a happy life, despite how difficult its beginnings may be. A lot of it is being willing to examine my actions with my dog and improving those as well as being consistent with her. I feel like a lot of owners give up on their dogs too quickly or aren’t willing to look at what they might be doing that contributes to the problem.  Dog training isn’t so much about training the dog, it’s about training yourself to behave in ways that help your dog to understand what it is you want them to do instead of the behaviors you don’t want them to do. This doesn’t just mean yelling “NO!” at them every time they do something wrong. It means showing them other behaviors you want them to do instead so they learn it’s fun to work/live with you instead of just getting yelled at all the time.

Dogs are nonverbal, dog training should be quiet. I don’t say much to dogs when I’m training them. I give them physical and verbal cues but I don’t repeat myself. If I’m saying “Sit, Sit, Sit” then I’m doing something wrong and need to look at that. I want them to do the behavior on the 1st not the 3rd or 10th request. When I go to off leash hours I hear so many people yelling at their dogs over and over again. It annoys me, so I can only imagine how the dogs must feel considering their hearing is so much better than ours. What if everyone worked with cheese or hotdogs on recall at home then at the park making it super fun and awesome for a dog every time they came? What a peaceful morning it would be for all of us. I think the owners and dogs would be so much happier. We really have to ask what is important to our dog–its usually fun and treats. If we’re the most fun thing in our dog’s life with the best treats there’s no end to what we can teach them and what they can ultimately teach us.

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Will Work for Food!

I’m making a declaration in regards to dog training–no more lazy food!

Humans have to go to work everyday for money to feed ourselves and pay bills, and in the dog world food, affection, and play=currency. If you want to bond and work with your dog, do away with the food bowl, ration out the kibble for the day, and put it and a clicker in your pocket.

Every time your pup does something you like click and reward. The clicker is a great teaching tool with dogs, it expedites the learning process by marking the exact behavior you like or ask for. This makes dogs much more attentive to you. You can also shape behaviors with the clicker by clicking and treating at various stages of a behavior. This is how agility training is taught. You can learn more about clicker training here: http://www.clickertraining.com/ also the book “Don’t Shoot the Dog” by Karen Pryor is very informative about teaching all animals with operant conditioning.

I also say don’t let the dogs push you around for affection and play. Ask them to sit, give paw, down, etc. before giving affection or play. Small adjustments like this to your daily routine with challenge your dog more and make them more respectful overall. It’s not about not giving affection but giving it at the right time.

Another great tool to help challenge dogs, give them a job, and burn energy is the dog backpack. If you have a somewhat hyper dog you can put this on them during walks and put some full water bottles or ankle/wrist weights in the pockets or whatever you need to carry, just make sure its not too heavy. This also obviously only appropriate for dogs who don’t have hip problems.

Lastly, I just like to say 90% of the behavior problems (excessive barking, aggression, destructive chewing etc.) I see as a dog trainer are due to lack of exercise, leadership, and stimulation. Asking your dog to work for you in exchange for food, exercising, and leadership/ training= a balanced dog. There are a lot of great toys out there to challenge dogs, stimulate them, plus make them work for food. These include kongs, kibble balls, tennis ball launchers, rawhide bones etc. I recommend walking your dog in the morning then coming home and putting their food in a kibble ball or kong so they have to work for it. This keeps them busy/ stimulated while you’re at work.
Good products include Kongs, Busy Buddy Dog Toys, and there’s a great website, Active Dog Toys, that carries wide variety of stimulating toys. Check all of these things out, your dog will thank you!

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Positive Reinforcement Trainers vs. The Dog Whisperer

I recently sent an email out to other local dog walkers, trainers, vets, and shelters letting them know about my dog walking and training services. I was surprised to receive a few aggressive, judgmental replies from Positive Reinforcement only trainers lecturing me about using techniques similar to Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. I was unaware there’s apparently some animosity from Positive Reinforcement dog trainers towards Millan’s more dominance, dog psychology based training. I happen to use both methods because its not always appropriate to throw treats and affection at every situation. For example, if you give treats to an aggressive or anxious dog at the wrong time you’re basically rewarding a behavior you don’t want. I cannot tell you how many people have come to me after positive reinforcement only trainers have failed them or made their problems worse.

One of my clients Pooh Bear was a severely anxious fearful dog who didn’t want to go outside for walks. This lead to frustration excessive barking in the house and extremely angry neighbors. For a dog, walking is like breathing. They migrate and hunt by nature, its part of their DNA. Pooh’s foster mom had tried affection, treats, positive reinforcement trainers, etc. He was still anxious. Then she met me and I took him outside and just kept walking until his bucking and rearing subsided. I corrected him when necessary with a small ,short tug on the leash and praised him when he was calm. He was definitely nervous for a while on walks but once he saw that nothing bad happened he began to enjoy his walks. His owner Sharon began taking him up to the park for off leash hours which he loved and now he’s happy to go for walks. It took a few months but now he’s a much happier, balanced dog.

One of the biggest problems I see is people feeling sorry for their dogs when they are nervous and giving affection. This works on people (I suppose) but dogs don’t operate this way. If you give affection treats etc when they are in that state you are basically telling them its okay to be in that state. When a dog is fearful or exhibiting some other frenetic behavior other dogs will correct them with a nip and move on as if to say “Snap out of it!” We could certainly take a lesson from this.

Another example is Phoebe who I wrote about last month who was growling in her crate and not coming out for anyone but her owners. They saw a trainer who told them to give her treats and sit by the crate. This of course didn’t work because by giving her treats they were telling her its okay to stay in your crate and growl. I came along lifted the back of the crate so she shot out and then leashed her and took her out for walks. Again it took a little while for her to trust me but once she saw walks were fun and being calm and obedient got her affection and treats she started being more social with other people and dogs.

I totally love using positive reinforcement and clickers to teach dogs. However, a lot of dogs I work with are recent shelter adoptions and have had a rough life. They first need to trust a strong pack leader and know what they rules are. They need structure in order to feel safe. Once they trust me then I can work more with clickers and treats but the have to stop acting aggressive or anxious first.

I was totally insulted by the trainers who assumed by using dog psychology/ dominance training methods I was harming dogs. Any of my clients would tell you that I love the dogs and would never harm them, I use the least force necessary. Any training method done wrong can be harmful to dogs. The problem with Positive Reinforcement training only is, I feel, a lot of the trainers are using human psychology with the dogs. I feel like Millan’s methods are so successful because he uses dog psychology instead. He recognizes the importance of exercise, pack structure, and rules, boundaries, and limitations. Both schools of thought have a lot to offer to the other, and people should really research both before using them or choosing a trainer and all should keep in mind the following quote.

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation”–Herbert Spencer

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Susie’s Magic Rattle: A Great Dog Training Tool!

I was working recently with a client whose dog, Phoebe, was jumping up and nipping for attention. Phoebe is a totally sweet terrier mix who’s just a little insecure and occasional tries unflattering and sometimes mildly aggressive behaviors to try to get her way or avoid fearful situations. When I met Phoebe back in December 2009 she’d just come from a shelter and wouldn’t come out of her crate for anyone but her new owners. She’d growl and carry on and the owner’s couldn’t get her to go out with their friend/dogwalker. They hired a trainer who’d told them to have the friend/dogwalker to sit there and give Phoebe treats while she was growling at her. This was a bad idea because then you’re basically rewarding a behavior you don’t want. Needless to say Phoebe’s attitude did not improve using this method.

The owner’s called me. I came in and of course Phoebe growled at me and wouldn’t come out of her crate. I lifted the back of the crate a little and she shot out like a greyhound after a rabbit. There was a lot of teeth baring and tail tucking but eventually I cornered her, lassoed her and once she was on leash she was much more agreeable. They hired me to began walking Phoebe on a daily basis. The next day I came by to get Phoebe and she was nowhere to be found. I searched the house and when I walked by the bathroom I heard a low growl. I flipped the bathroom light on and there she was wedged behind the toilet. I took the plunger and forced her out and lassoed her again (I never put my hands near a growling dog’s mouth) and we went for our walk. I asked the owners to keep the bathroom door closed from now on when they were gone. Within a few days she was coming to the door on her own ready to go out for her walk. Within a few weeks she fully trusted me and would let me put her gentle leader on without any trouble.

So back to the new bad behavior–Phoebe jumping up and nipping at toes to get attention. The owner’s said their verbal reprimands were not working. I recommended more dominance in and out of the house i.e. having Phoebe walk next to or behind them on walks, sit at doorways and enter after them and basically ignore or physically (not harshly) knock her off them if she tried to jump on them. I also remembered and recommended a tool I’d seen a few years ago used on a dog to get their attention and snap them out of a bad behavior. This tool is basically a water bottle with several coins in it. It works as a loud rattle and generally startles a dog enough to get them to stop whatever bad behavior they’re engaging in.

I left the training session with Phoebe acting better and me thinking. I had recently started working with a beagle named Daisy who would lay down and go totally limp when I tried to walk her. If I tried to pull her she’d just drag and her paws would get bloody. I’d never had a dog shut down so much and not want to walk. Usually a dog that doesn’t want to walk will pitch a fit and jump around and you can use their momentum to get them moving but not Daisy. I would wind up carrying her away from the building and getting her to walk on the way back, but I knew this was only a beginning. I’d noticed recently the one thing Daisy would move for was a loud noise on the street so the next day I decided to make and bring a rattle to her house. We came downstairs and she tried to lay down once she hit the sidewalk. I shook the rattle and she was startled and jumped up and started moving. We walked a little ways then she tried to lay down again. I shook the rattle she again was startled and jumped up and I got her to walk. As soon as she associated the rattle with laying down she stopped. A few days later I didn’t even have to use it anymore.

Pepper photo by Dennis Riley

One last case I wanted to try the rattle on was Pepper. She’s a friendly German Shepherd, super-smart but very reactive to other dogs on the street. If she meets a dog at her or their house she’s fine but if she sees a dog she doesn’t know she gets over-excited and tried to lunge and bark at them. I took what I’m now calling “Susie’s Magic Rattle” to Pepper’s house the same day and shook it right when she tensed up near another dog and was about to lunge. She crouched away from the rattle startled and we moved on. I petted and praised her as we passed the dog.

I now carry this around in my bag when I’m dog walking and anytime a dog is engaging in a behavior I don’t like all I have to do it pull it out. Sometimes I don’t even have to shake it and a dog will sit down and snap out of their bad behavior. I highly recommend using this tool if you have a reactive or aggressive dog. Its cheap, easy to make, and works like a charm. Just a warning though, you do not want to desensitize a dog to it by over using the rattle. Only use it sparingly, it is loud and will give you a headache as well if you rattle it too much.

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Poetry News, Thanksgiving, and Dog Obedience

Rainbow over Brooklyn

A lot has been going on in the poetry and dog land I live in! First the poetry news:

I had 5 Brooklyn poems published in Poets & Artisits December 2009.

I had a dog walking poem published in Work Zine November 2009.

I was interviewed by Galley Cat’s Jason Boog about The Dogs of Brooklyn.

Sonya Chung quoted me in an article on The Millions about dogs and writing.

I had my poem (and Dennis’s photo) Powerboat Pit Bull published in this wrestling poetry anthology on Clattery MacHenry. Scroll down to “P” its in alphabetical order.

I interviewed rock and roll prose poet Ray Gonzalez, bilingual poet Kristin Naca, and feminist poet Alicia Suskin Ostriker for BOMB and post punk poetry icon Eileen Myles for The Rumpus.

Whew! Thanksgiving was a welcome few days off though I was dog sitting for my pal Jack. I was so grateful for all the small victories this year–publishing and dog training etc. That morning we took Jack to off leash hours at Prospect Park. I love Prospect Park, Fredrick Law Olmsted the landscape designer was such a genius I named my plant after him, then proceeded to kill it with a slow death like every other plant I’ve had. In my life there’s a long tradition of naming things after famous people and characters- My first dog, the Golden Retriever Cindy Lauper, my hamster Murphy after Murphy Brown (I was eight!), my cat Cobain. Anyways, I digress, If you haven’t been to Brooklyn and seen it, its as beautiful as Central Park and far less crowded!

So back to Prospect Park Thanksgiving- we ran into Pooh Bear, the dog that wouldn’t go outside when I first met him. He had lots of fears of the outdoors when I started working with him and would pitch an 80 lb. fit whenever his owner tried to walk him. I switched Pooh to an over-the-hose-nose gentle leader so he’d be easier to control (sometimes the right lead makes all the difference!), a backpack with water bottles as weights to tire him out and give him a job, and ignored his drama. A few months later he’s trotting along happily in Prospect Park with his owner! It feels good to be able to help people with what I’ve learned in my year dog walking.

I used to think because I didn’t have a title or go to some office that I was a failure and couldn’t keep a “real” job. Now I see I wasn’t meant for that world. I am a humble servant to the animals and that works for me. I’m reliable and trustworthy and people trust me with their pets, I may not be some fancy professor or lawyer but I’m of service and I make enough to live and work shorter hours so I can write, that’s all I need. I also see some people can work for others in offices, I am not one of those people, I’m someone who needs to have their own business and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just had no model for this kind of life growing up in Florida. That’s one of the reasons I love New York, you can have a small business and survive, its harder in other areas of corporate, chain-store America to do that.

Back to Thanksgiving- I was just grateful I could eat this year. Last year about a week before Thanksgiving my appendix exploded and I was in the hospital getting emergency surgery. The surgery wasn’t so bad it was the recovery. Since my appendix burst there were toxins all over my insides so they had me on all kinds of antibiotics and I have never been so sick and scared in all my life. It was like a horror movie in the hospital with people screaming down the hall. I kept throwing up green and having diarrhea and I couldn’t walk. I think the immobility and weakness may have been the scariest part of all. I couldn’t eat anything all I could do was suck on ice chips. Thankfully my friends and family showed up-Dennis stayed at the hospital practically all day everyday with me. I got out the day before Thanksgiving but still could barely eat or walk for about a month. Thank god for my friends, employees, and understanding clients- running a business from a hospital bed is no fun but everyone was really great.

I think a lot about gratitude and service when it comes to dogs and writing. I don’t think I felt really a part of the writing world until I started doing service for it by writing a column for BOMB. I don’t get paid for it but the writers I interview are so grateful to have someone read, understand, and ask them intelligent questions about their work and I feel like I learn a lot from doing it. Also I’m publishing and making connections regardless of whether my own poetry is being published. Its easy to feel resentful when other people’s work is getting published and yours isn’t but somehow writing this column has made me feel a lot less disenfranchised and more a part of the poetry community. So my advice to anyone who’s struggling is to find someway to be of service, it works for me every time.

Gracie photo by Dennis Riley

I also just wanted to write a little about dog obedience since I’ve been doing a lot of training with insecure dogs lately. I have Oban,  french bulldog who is aggressive to any visitors, and Claudia who has a lot of fear of the outdoors. When one brings home a new dog or there’s a major change in environment- a move or a baby being born- this can bring out nervousness and sometimes even aggression in an insecure dog. The biggest problem with these dogs is they are not natural pack leaders and they don’t feel secure in their owners pack leader status. Dogs have different dispositions just like people, some are shy, some are bold, some are just mellow. It never fails though that if we step up to the plate and are strong, dominant pack leaders the nervous guys stop being so nervous, they’re nervous because they feel they have to step into the pack leader role if we aren’t it because in a dogs world there are only two positions- leader and follower. Feeling sorry for a nervous dog doesn’t help them. In the wild animals don’t pity each other, a pack leader cuts of any behavior they don’t like and that’s the end of it. Dogs want to please us, they don’t want to act out. So I correct behavior I don’t like with a tug on the leash or a sharp “chhh” sound and then we move on. I praise only behavior I like with affection. We have to give affection at the right time not all the time. Dogs need jobs just like we do or else they get bored. So tricks, walks, etc stimulate their brains and make them happier than just sitting around the house getting petted all day. The migrate (walk) for their food all day then eat and play. That’s the natural order for them.

For Oban the aggressive dog I recommended they switch his leash and leave it on in the house giving it a tug anytime he did something they didn’t like, this snaps the dog out of the bad mindset the same way a dog pack leader would nip a dog on the neck if they misbehave. Simple subtle, drama free correction is all they need. I use the “chhh” sound because dogs are non-verbal, all energy, and I can’t be all emotional about a sound the way I can about yelling NO. That only makes an excited dog more excited. Its the energy behind the NO or the “chhh” sound that they respond to. Oban is improving and his owners are more empowered with how to correct him.

With Claudia, I switched her to a gentle leader and she responds better to it. A dog’s neck is really muscular so gentle leaders or leashes worn high up on the neck work better for getting their attention. I also recommended that they stay cool as cucumbers when she gets nervous on the street. When I walked her I noticed she kept looking up at me to gage my reaction of loud trucks etc. The more I ignored them the more she felt safe simple as that. I didn’t respond to her freak outs only her calm states with praise. The thing we give more energy too will always be the thing that grows so we only want to give energy to positive things unless we want the negative to grow.

Then we have the one year olds- Ozzie, Roxy, Jasper, Gracie, Leo, Murray. They’re in there rebellious teenage phase where they test us with spazz outs and occasional bad behavior. We wonder what happened to our sweet pup. This will pass but we have to be consistent in the training we’ve done so far and not freak out. Consistency is the key in writing and dog behavior. If we just keep at it with consistence eventually we’ll get what we want cause nature abhors a vacuum. With the insecure guys we don’t get to space out or talk on our cell phones when walking them. They need us to be present with them which is really the point of having a dog to spend time with them and share our worlds. This has taught me how to be more present in my whole life and see the little things as opposed to the big things I have no control over. Sometimes the dogs we get aren’t the ones we want we, they’re the ones we need. They help us work on our own issues of nervousness, stress, etc. because they pick up our energy like sponges and the more freaked out we are the more freaked out they will be. So when we work on being a calm, strong pack leader it not only helps them, it helps us. This is the beauty of having a relationship with your dog, don’t miss out on it because you’re too busy worrying about other things. Those things will work themselves out if you focus just on what’s in front of you.

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Poughkeepsie Poetry and The Dogs of Brooklyn

Poet's Walk photo by Dennis Riley

Poet's Walk photo by Dennis Riley

Bless me for I’ve sinned, it’s been two weeks since my last blog-session. Things in Brooklyn have been really busy. The weather is changing–dog walking in the cold rain and leaves falling. Winter is on its ominous way, last week four grey days, no sun.

We took a trip up to see Dennis’s friend Ken at Toad Hall in Poughkeepsie or as Ken likes to call it P-Town on Hudson. He manages Locust Grove, a lovely historic estate. I love it up there, its so quiet and full of green. We were there back in July and checked out Poet’s Walk and Opus 40 amongst other things.

opus40

Opus 40 photo by Dennis Riley

I wrote this sonnet:

Poughkeepsie Poem

Toad Hall with its twists and turns, bathrooms opening

into other bathrooms old servants quarters low ceilings,

stairs slope and wind back into the kitchen. Turkeys

and frogs croak in the yard of green, lightning bugs

and dancing mosquitoes buzz. We hike through ticks

and flowered fields of Poet’s Walk, sit in old wooden

gazebos and stare at the Hudson River, shop at grocery

stores that classify Green Tea as “New Age Beverages,”

drive dizzy roads to Opus 40 stones in the Saugerties,

a monument tomb to obsessive sculpture. It’s raining,

steam rises off the hot rocks as if ready for dark-cloaked

druid sacrificing. Locust Grove’s rolling lawns and gardens,

house of servant’s ghosts and carriages, the Young’s pet

cemeteries headstones marked Snappy and Rusty. Back

in the city in coffee shops surrounded by people on cell

(as in jail) phones talking. I’m longing for quiet lakes

and green away from laptops and technology’s electric bars.

This time we stuffed our faces at Babycakes and the Eveready Diner went apple picking and antiquing in New Paltz. Unfortunately, the first night we were there the electricity was out. We made the mistake of going to see Zombieland. Even though its a goofy movie, it does have zombies and we were in this big house in the woods in the dark. It just seemed like a horror movie recipe. Did I mention I spent my childhood terrified of the dark? I’m 31 and I still have a nightlight! Suddenly this quaint little house in the woods with all its “secret” rooms became my own personal chamber of horrors. In bed that night, I stared at the attic door above me in the candlelight and poked Dennis every time he started to fall asleep and snore. Damn nature, this would never happen in the city! (with the exception of blackout 2005)

When we got back to Brooklyn I got my The Dogs of Brooklyn manuscript back with lots of notes from Barbara Hamby my poetry mentor. She’s the most amazing poet I know and has been so supportive and encouraging. After a few weeks of hardcore editing  that actually gave me back pain I’m sending it off to several book contests, fingers crossed.

I also came back to an email from Melissa that Vijay Seshadri agreed to read with us at opening party of The Dogs of Brooklyn Photography and Poetry Show Ozzie’s Coffee, Park Slope (7th Ave & Lincoln Place) Brooklyn, NY November 6th 7pm. I hope everyone can make it. I’m super-excited. I wish the dogs could come make celebrity appearances but it is a food establishment so I doubt they’d be let in.

Finally Dennis and I went to the ridiculous “Meet the Breeds” at the giant Javitz center. It was a weekend event with almost every cat and dog breed imaginable in attendance. Crazy cat ladies  with hand sanitizer, big hair, and too much make up. Dog people dressed up like they were from the country their dog breed was from. Super-white women dressed up in Afghan garb in a tent while their Afghan Hound lay sleeping. King Charles Spaniel owners dressed up as if they were having tea in the English countryside. Wow. It was fun to go around and get free samples of pet food and pet the dogs if the breeders let us!

I was dog sitting for the dogs Charlie, Chloe, Lola and the cats Milo and Sam (yes all one owner!), so we brought them and our own cats some goodies. Lola is an interesting case. A long-haired chihuahua with fear aggression issues. I’ve sat for her before but it takes her a little while to trust again. She usually starts as a barking, biting mess. I always have to lasso her, bribe her with food to get her harness and leash on. I think the biggest mistake owners make with small breeds is they treat them like babies instead of dogs. They pity them because of their size and don’t let them have normal dog experiences and boundaries. When I come along I treat them like big dogs and they seem to appreciate this respect after a little bit of a tantrum. You just have to get through the tantrum. You have to give energy to the behavior you want though praise and correct any behavior you don’t want without giving it a lot of energy, because whatever you give energy to will grow. I usually leave Lola’s leash on and reintroduce her to the house, as my house, not hers. I correct any behavior I don’t like with a chhh and a little tug on the leash. After a little while she’s pretty sweet and follows me around. Sadly I understand her wanting to growl off any potential problems, I’ve been known to occasionally do the same myself. However, living like that you growl off the love too and that’s no way to live.

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One of my clients blogged about her dog Pooh Bear and me!

 

Sharon and Pooh walking Brooklyn!

Sharon and Pooh walking Brooklyn!

I had the pleasure of recently training a fearful dog, Pooh Bear, who hadn’t gone on walks in almost a year to love the wilds of Brooklyn. Check out my client Sharon’s Guideposts blog about this beautiful dog she’s fostered. He’s trained, sweet, and looking for a stable home with a strong pack leader. Contact me if you’re interested!

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