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Try This Before Your Walks

Did you know that the way you start your walks with your dog can set a precedent to how your walks will go?  If you allow your dog to pull you out the door at the beginning of your walk, it is more likely your dog will pull you during the entirety of your walk. Consequently, it will take that much longer to gain their attention.  I quickly learned that if I allowed a dog to jump all over me while putting on their leash, or allowed them to pull me out the door, it took me and my furry companion much longer to get anywhere without them pulling. I’m not sure about you, but I do not find walking a dog that pulls me to be fun, at all.  One of the first things that I do when training one of our Board and Train or Day Train dogs

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Motivating Your Dog

  Does your dog’s response to cues seem lackluster? You may not have found the right motivation. Like humans, dogs work harder with strong motivation. Here’s how to turbocharge your dog’s drive—whether to come when called or break her agility speed record.   Find What Drives Your Dog We are all motivated to action by different things. Maybe it’s that afternoon caffè latte we promise ourselves if we finish the report, or the massage we feel we earned after a month of gym visits. But the wrong reward would leave us cold. If you wanted chocolate, would you toil for a carrot? What does your dog most want? If in doubt, parade different treats past your dog to see what really gets her attention. Most dogs go nuts for meaty, greasy, and smelly. A few dogs prefer bread-based items. Some dogs, particularly working breeds like Border Collies and some terriers,

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Tips for Running With Your Dog

If your dog is healthy, loves to run, and is capable of running a respectable distance, you have the makings of a wonderful running partner—whether Labrador or toy poodle mix. Dogs don’t mind if you rouse them at the crack of dawn and never fuss about runny noses or side stitches. But unless you happen to share your life with a born side runner (like Dalmatians, once bred to run alongside fire engines), you may have to teach your dog the human version of running. Dogs like to go faster than people, check out interesting smells along the route, and chase the occasional cat. If you haven’t done so already, the first step is to teach your dog good on-leash manners during walks. Then proceed to walks interspersed with periods of jogging and finally graduate to full runs. Build distance and time slowly—in increments of 10 minutes, for example—to ensure

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The Cairn Terrier

This confident, active, tenacious little ragamuffin is the smallest of the Scottish terriers, and was originally bred for hunting rodents and small game like otters, foxes, and badgers. A Cairn’s paws are made to dig—literally. The front paws are bigger and flatter than the hind paws, making it easier for the dog to get into “cairns,” the rock dens where his quarry lived. Cairns also sport a weather-resistant outer coat, highly expressive ears, and enough personality to steal any picture. Case in point: the unforgettable Toto in The Wizard of Oz was a Cairn (“he” was a she called Terry). Quick to learn and always up for a game, Cairns are happiest when they get plenty of exercise and stimulation. Despite their modest size, they are terrific little athletes that, with patient training, can excel at agility, tracking trials, K9 Nose Work, and Rally obedience. To give a Cairn Terrier

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The English Cocker Spaniel

This dapper little gun dog was originally bred for flushing and retrieving small game. Don’t be fooled by her melting spaniel eyes and soft, feathery coat: the Cocker is an all-terrain dog and can be a handful to live with. Exuberant, strong-willed, and energetic, she needs lots of exercise and careful training. Cockers love having a job—something scent-related, preferably, otherwise anything demanding will do: agility, obedience, flyball, canine disc, etc. The well-socialized Cocker is affectionate and wants to be part of all family activities. Beware the noise, though, she’s quick to alert to doorbells. (A Cocker Spaniel holds the world record for the most persistent barking: 907 times in ten minutes.) With her soulful expression, the Cocker is popular in arts and entertainment too, most famously in Disney’s enduring 1955 animated classic, Lady and the Tramp.   To give an English Cocker Spaniel a home, search online for nearby rescues.

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Arson Dogs

  For more than 12,000 years, dogs have worked alongside humans. They have herded our livestock, hunted with us, and pulled us across otherwise impassable frozen expanses. Most modern dogs are companions, of course, but those who do work have ever more extraordinary job descriptions. Accelerant-detection is one example. Arson dogs work with fire investigative units to sniff out minuscule amounts of anything from lamp oil to lighter fluid (they can detect more than 60 different ignitable petroleum-based hydrocarbons) in scenes flooded with water or covered in snow or mud. They use their 200 million scent receptors (compared to our 5 million) to help investigators accurately assess the flammable products present at a fire scene and increase the chances of collecting a positive sample. This can help rule arson in—or out. With billions of dollars in property and hundreds of lives lost every year as a result of intentionally set

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Canine Evolution, How It Effects Your Dogs Behavior – Part 2

I feel many times we take for granted that our 4 legged friends are animals that have been domesticated and integrated into our lives over the past 130,000 years.  (Evolution of the Dog, 2001)  We take for granted that these once wild animals are now cuddling in our laps or assisting us in our daily lives.  We at times, get upset when our cuddly friend exhibits behaviors such as nipping or barking even though that is what they are hardwired to do, it’s instinct. When taking a look at the evolution of dogs Darwin speculated that the reason we have such diversity among dogs was due to breeding amongst a variety of wild dogs.  Through DNA testing it was found that Darwinwas wrong.  Dogs, are direct descendants of the gray wolf.   The reason we have such a diverse population of dogs, is due to intense and purposeful interbreeding. The key

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Canine Evolution, Recommended Reading

Dogs A New Understanding Of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution By Raymond and Lorna Coppinger Domestic Dog, It’s Evolution, Behavior,  and Interactions With People by James Serpell Evolution of Canine Social Behavior, 2nd Edition by Roger Abrantes Dog Behavior, Evolution and Cognition by Adam Miklosi Wolves- Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation by L. David Mech & Luigi Boitani, Editors

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Put Your Toys Away

Put Your Toys Away Criteria– Your dog fetches their toys and puts them away. Verbal Que- ‘Put your toys away’ Visual Que- Point to their toy Steps  Teach your dog to fetch Stand behind their toy box or the desired object you want them to learn to put their toys in. Toss the toy for your dog, as they are coming back with their toy say ‘put your toy away’. When your dog comes to you trade them a treat for dropping the toy in the toy box Repeat above steps 10 times.  When your dog succeeds with the above steps 10 times in a row move to step 6. Place a toy 2 feet away from the toy box.  Stand behind the toy box. Point to the toy and say ‘put your toy away’.  Reward your dog for putting the toy in the toy box. Repeat step 7, slowly

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Going Leash Crazy

Going Leash Crazy Have you ever wondered why your friendly playful pooch off leash turns into a monster on leash, or in your home or yard?  Why is it that your dog loves to play with others and gets along with everyone when they are off leash but the moment you attach the leash they turn into a beast? If your dog is not aggressive with other dogs when they are off leash but show aggressive behaviors towards other dogs on leash or behind a barrier, your dog maybe exhibiting leash or barrier frustration.   Your dog is frustrated that they cannot get to the other dog to say hello and do their normal doggie greetings such as smell butts, ears, and mouths.  How they express this frustration to the owner is by vigorously barking and lunging on their leash or through a fence or window. I often use the following

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