Dealing With Off-Leash Dogs

Paws Abilities

There are many reasons why your dog may not like being rushed by an off-leash dog when he’s on leash. Off-leash dogs are, obviously, the bane of many of my reactive clients’ existence, but senior dogs; those recovering from surgery, illness, or injuries; shy pups and fearful dogs may also find the attention of off-leash dogs upsetting or overwhelming. Even friendly dogs may not appreciate interacting with another dog in such a socially unequal situation – leashes can cause a lot of issues.

So, what can you do if you get rushed by an off-leash dog? First of all, know that it is always okay to protect your dog. Most urban and suburban environments have leash laws, and if your dog is on a leash you are right in keeping your dog safe. You are also completely within your rights to report off-leash dogs to your local authorities. Not only…

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Preparing for Competition: Squishing!

Denise Fenzi

As many of you know, I now teach classes on-line at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.  One of the courses I’m about to teach is a Ring Confidence Class.  In the process of preparing for this course, I realized just how many behaviors we can teach our dogs in order to allow them to attend their first competitions with maximum confidence and sureness in the ring.  Quite a few, really.

Some of us do this without thinking about it too much.  If you attend dog training clubs, then you are helping your dog with generalization of behaviors.  If you practice your behaviors in the face of increasingly complex challenges, then you are proofing those behaviors.  If you use a “routine” to cue your dog that work is about to begin (hopefully not the presence of cookies and toys!), then you are teaching your dog ‘Work cues” – a predictable series of…

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Summer Time and the Weather is HOT!

Pawsitively Training

We in the UK have been lucky enough to have some really lovely weather this past fortnight or so.

We’re quite lucky, living where we do there’s easy access to a lot of water – the sea is only a 5 minute drive away (although we go a little further to stay away from the crowds); and the nearest lake is only about 20 minutes away.

Obviously, when we go, we go later on in the evening so it’s cooler; but what can we do at home to keep our dogs cool – especially for those of us who aren’t lucky to live close to a body of water?

Luckily the below infographic was shared with me by TheUncommonDog.com, and I thought it’s worth passing around.

Some other things you can do to help keep your dog cool include: –

  • stuff and freeze a food carrier toy, such…

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Finding the Right Dog Trainer – Harder Than You Think

pawsforpraise

Here’s some advice from Jean Donaldson on how to choose a dog trainer.  After her suggestions, I’m going to take the liberty of telling you how I would want her questions to be answered if I were going to try to find a trainer for my own dog.  You may not realize it, but trainers do, from time to time, attend one another’s classes, participate in working seminars, or take classes from trainers who are experts in dog sports or aspects of training that we are not expert in.  As an example, I can lay a simple track and have my dog follow it for fun, but I certainly am not an expert in lost person behavior or variable surface tracking!  So, if I wanted to know more about scent work of that kind, I might take my dog and go to classes with someone who does.  Anyway, back to…

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What is a Motivator?

Denise Fenzi

A motivator is something we want; most of us can answer that pretty easily.  In the world of competition dogs, however, I often see something that is really confusing to me.  I routinely encounter people who are using rewards that their dog does not want, in order to reward behaviors that they DO want.

It looks like this:

Dog has just done a fabulous recall to her handler – fast and straight.  As a reward, the trainer whips out a toy and starts to play with the dog.  So far so good, except for one detail; the dog walks away because she does not want the toy.    The owner starts playfully hitting the dog on the butt with the toy and pulling on her hair.  The dog scurries around to face the trainer but still makes no effort to engage; she continues to reject the toy.

Refusing a toy…

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Owner Profile: The Cesar Millan Wannabe.

The Dog Snobs

Description: We all know them, none of us love them. That’s right- The Cesar Millan Wannabe (CMW). Whether you are a fan of CM or want him to burn in the lowest pit of hell, you have to admit this person is annoying.  Really, really, annoying. The entirety of their dog knowledge is gained from reading CM’s books and watching his program religiously.  Their own dog is usually terribly behaved and completely ignores CM’s most often used catchphrase “Tsst”.

Common Locations:  Dog parks, where they can impart their “knowledge” on innocent bystanders and demonstrate alpha rolls on unsuspecting dogs.  Trolling internet forums where they pick fights with anyone and everyone who will give them the time of day.

Wardrobe: “Be the Pack Leader” and “Leader of the Pack” t-shirts, rollerblades, fanny packs and dog packs strapped on each hip. Dogs are usually wearing cheap slip leashes, or more recently the…

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