Socialization is Just for Puppies

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I come across many people (some dog trainers included) that believe you need to socialize adult dogs to teach them how to act appropriately around other dogs or people. While it would be handy if adult dogs could still be socialized after 6 months old, it is simply untrue. Puppies go through certain socialization stages…

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Creating Toy Drive

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This is my second post about my reflections from Shade Whitesel’s Seminar: Play Your Way to Powerful Obedience. (Reflections from a Working Dog Seminar was the first post.) Using tug as a reinforcer during training is new to me. I had always casually asked my dog to sit or down before beginning play, but this seminar taught me…

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Why Not to Say “No” to Your Dog

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I “grew up” in the rescue community. I always did my best to find the homes of strays that I found on the street. And even though my parents didn’t let me foster animals, my neighbors were kind enough to let me into their homes to help them with their pets and fosters. In general,…

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Reflections from a Working Dog Seminar

loker

Last weekend I attended Shade Whitesel’s Seminar: Play Your Way to Powerful Obedience in Missouri hosted by Riverfront Working Dog Club. Shade has achieved some of the highest titles in Schutzhund with her dogs. “Shade has been involved in the sport of Schutzhund for the last 15 years. Shade and her current competition dog, Reiki vom Aegis,…

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Always Leave Your Dog Wanting More

The other day I was working with my dog, Loker, on a heel exercise. It was the back-end awareness exercise I have already mentioned. It was a short session because this exercise is proving to be a bit of a challenge for him. Learning how to move their backend independently of their front end does not come…

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Use Your Neighborhood Park!

Agility at the Park

People often walk or jog through their local park but rarely do they take advantage of the man-made obstacles provided. Kids playgrounds or picnic tables are great tools to expand your dog’s mental and physical challenges during a walk. Including obstacles during a walk will help drain excess energy much more quickly than simply walking…

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Successful Training in Distractions

Loker and I at the dog park

When dog training, just like learning a new language or skill, you want to start easy and then gradually work up to harder exercises. Training your dog should be a progressive program that increases in difficulty depending on how the dog performs. People often overestimate the capabilities of a dog and make challenges too hard…

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Tug of War is Bad, Right?

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Pretty much every dog owner has heard this statement, “playing tug of war with your dog will make him/her aggressive!” While I am not quite sure where this came from or who made it up, I do know that this is absolutely not true! In fact, you can use your dog’s drive to play and…

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