Photo Friday ~ Anxiously Waiting

Watching dad mow the lawn and anxiously waiting to go outside to play in the fresh cut grass!

Can we go outside yet mom, we wanna go NOW!

***Side note: They are panting heavily because prior to dad mowing the grass they were playing fetch with him outside.***

Training Tip Tuesday ~ To Train or Not to Train?

Sometimes as a trainer we get called to a client’s home for some of the darnest things. When it comes to problem solving or fixing a dogs bad habit I always ask myself “is this something that would be easier to train or to prevent?” Seems like a silly question to ask when you’re a trainer, but sometimes the answer might be different than we expected. So the question is…“to train or not to train?” Let me try to explain…

For example, one of the hardest things to “train” is a dog NOT to jump on the counter. Countersurfing is one of those things that can easily and accidentally be rewarded by one tiny mistake of leaving even a single crumb on the counter. Humans aren’t perfect and well sometimes we forget to clean up after ourselves or we make a sandwich and the doorbell rings and the next thing you know the dog has just gotten reinforced for jumping on the counter eaten your delicious lunch. It only takes one time for a dog to jump up, get something yummy and then continue to check the counter for the rest of his natural life. With odds like that, training a dog not to jump on the counter is more difficult and time consuming. It takes more discipline for us humans to remember everything we aren’t supposed to do than for us just to prevent future issues.

So we ask: “To train or not to train?” In this situation, I would explain that one of the easiest ways to help solve the problem could be to baby gate the kitchen and prevent the dog from having access to the counter. I usually picture a light bulb over my clients head as they smile at me and say… “I never thought about that!” 🙂

Long story short, when you have a dog who has a problem, think about what would be the most practical option… “to train or not to train?”

Photo Friday ~ Breakfast Jug

Almost every morning I fill this up with kibble for my dogs breakfast.

Mmmm... breakfast kibble.

Every morning Bailey adamantly works at it to get the kibble out.

He drags it...

Paws at it...

And picks it up and drops it...

While Brewer patiently waits for dropped pieces of kibble and for Bailey to finish. Then it’s his turn but Brewer tends to take a different approach.

First he paws at it to get it in the perfect position...

Then he gets comfortable and then while holding the rope with one paw...

Brewer turns, twists and tips the jug with his other 3 paws till...

The jug is empty and both boys are happy, full and starting to get sleepy…

All gone, I think I'll settle for a nap, what about you Brewer...

You go ahead Bailey, I've gotta clean my face first!

What are some creative ways you feed your dog his meals during the day? Let us know and leave a comment!

Training Tip Tuesday ~ Don’t Repeat the Cue

Ever find that sometimes you sound like a broken record when cuing your dog to do a specific behavior?

You ask: “Fido, Sit…”

Dog: {looking at you inquisitively}

and before he gets a chance to

You continue: “Sit…Sit…Sit”

Dog: {Sits}

 

This is a common issue among many owners. We are people of habit, and habits are hard to break. But guess what? Dogs are smart and they are quick to pick up on those habits and small patterns that form when we are asking behaviors from them. Dog’s will learn that they don’t have to “Sit” the first time you ask because you will ask exactly 3 more times “Sit…Sit…Sit” before the dog has time to perform the behavior. Before you know it, yes you’ve taught your dog to “Sit” but only after you repeat the cue 4 times.

"Sit"

How you can fix it: This is more of a problem that we the owners have to fix for ourselves. The next time you cue your dog “Sit” give the dog time to process what you’ve asked and perform the behavior. If he does, GREAT! Reward with treats or lots of praise for doing it correctly. If he doesn’t, reset the dog (walk him nicely over to a different area) and try the cue again. You will find that this will be harder for you to remember not to repeat the cue, than it is for the dog to learn to perform the cue the first time you ask.

Sweet Luke ~ Adopted!

That’s right folks, lucky boy Luke has found his forever home! Some of you guessed right away from the picture I posted Friday. That was Luke and his new adoptive brother Apollo enjoying the now daily ritual of people watching from their front door.

Luke & Apollo people watching

According to his new momma, Luke is fitting right in. He is enjoying his new bed…

 

Cuddling with his new human family members…

ZZZzzzzz......

Lounging with his new brother Apollo…

Just lounging with my brother.

Luke’s new family say’s that

“The boys have been having fun! …As you can see they tire each other out pretty well.”

Apollo taking a much needed nap after ruf housing with Luke all day.

Thoroughly enjoying his new life like any rescue dog should, I couldn’t be happier for Luke. It seems that this was a perfect match for him and his new family. Can’t wait to hear about all the adventures they’ll be having in the future!

I love my new brother.

Congratulations Luke, you deserve it!

Would you to adopt a second dog for your family? Visit Mutts Matter Rescue and check out some of their adoptable dogs.