dogparenting

Why Bulldogs and Other Flat-face, Brachycephalic Breeds (French Bulldogs, Pugs, Etc.) Show Aggression towards Visitors and Strangers

Have you ever raced up to a bully breed only to have it stiffen up, turn away or lunge at you. Love a bully but wonder why they suddenly adopted stranger danger and visitor violence at about a year of age?  I have some insights that might help.  First I'd like you to meet a friend of mine.  His name is Sal.

Monday morning came, and I couldn’t wait to see Sal!  

Sal is one of my square-faced, saddle back puppy clients - a sweet, chubby faced bulldog who I almost packed up in my training bag when it came time to leave. 

But wait! Seven months had passed since our puppy series ended. Sal isn't a pudgy, roly-poly pup anymore. Sal is a big adolescent boy. And true to adolescents of all species, it not a pretty time. Although he is as cute as ever!

While all young dogs do something naughty, tree the neighbor's cat, dig up the flower garden, or eat the couch, Sal had just started to lunge and bark at people who approached him. Aggression in the dog world is a four letter word.  

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How to Solve All Your Dog Problems Without Raising Your Voice - from Bratty Barking & Jumping, to Stealing, Nipping & Nudging.

Meet Tictoc, the Tibetan Terrier. His favorite morning activity is bark-at-Mommy at-the-breakfast table. Yelling, shoving or locking him in the crate have only given him the nickname “Our little rapper!”. Tictoc has a lot in common with the neighbor’s three-year-old toddler, William, who shouts “NO TECH” whenever his Mommy pauses playtime to answer a text.

Across the street lives Bumper the border collie-mix who’s notorious for using her stealthy underarm nose-jab to send yet another coffee cup flying. Bumper lives with Sadie, her favorite diaper-clad human who tops the morning coffee upheaval with her spoon-fling off the highchair maneuver!   

What do these kids have in common? They all want attention—negative or positive, it doesn’t matter. React to it, and you’ll be guaranteed a repeat performance. Parents of any species can relate: unconditional love isn’t always easy. 

What if we could instantly get rid of all these aggravating, attention-getting behaviors and find a solution that doesn't raise your blood pressure?

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Luring- A Dog Training Technique for Parents on the Go!

Have you ever worried your dog thinks his name is Bad Dog?  Are you having trouble getting your dog's attention for more than 30 seconds?  Do you long for a dog who comes the first time you call, or who doesn't confuse the command come with R-U-N!?

Dog training can be confusing when you first start out.  You know what you’re saying, but your dog ignores you.   Maybe you’ve tried to repeat yourself, or beg, or plead: nothing gets through.  Your dog just stares up at you, clueless, or worse runs off and continues to misbehave.

When frustration sets in you know you’re in trouble.  How could such a cute adorable creature create such emotional tornados? 

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Dog Training - Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement and Everything In Between!

The other day my daughter brought home two rats.  Yes, rats, not dogs.  She outlined their feeding schedule, their daily routines and arranged a rat's playscape in our (mostly) unused shower.

Rats, she informed us, are a lot like dogs.  They need to eat, drink, sleep, play and potty. They're motivated by positive reinforcement, e.g. treats, toys and soft touches.

Huh, I thought. Dogs are like rats and kids - so does that mean that kids are like rats? The jury is still out on that one but there are surprising similarities.     

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Rate Your Dog's Sense of Smell!

Dog's have incredible noses: it's how they "see" their world.  In her book Being a Dog,  Barnard College, Columbia University professor and canine researcher Alexandra Horowitz challenges us to consider what it's like "to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time?"

But just how good a sniffer does your dog have and what exactly might breed have to do with his/her olfactory savvy?

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Seasonal Separation Anxiety

If my dogs had to pick a least favorite month, it'd be September.  After the hullabaloo of summer, when foot traffic is high, and laughter surrounds them, back to school spells one thing: B-O-R-E-D-O-M.

Frantic activity in the days leading up to school can ratchet up the overall household anxiety level. Dogs may start to act out, hoping for attention in their dog-like way. 

 

It's a good time to remember this favorite phrase: anytime your dog acts out, or your kids for that matter: 

 

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How Do You Show Your Love?

There are many ways to trigger a dog's passion, from playing games like Tug-of-war and Find it, to heading out for a hike, walk or trip to the dog park, to singing or scratching your dog in their just-right spot!  

Find a way to trigger your dog's passion.  Nothing beats your full attention while doing what your dog loves best.  

I'll leave you with a few images of how we show love in our family!  Please share your images with me in the comment section under the poll on my Facebook page.

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Fun in the Sun for All, Even the Lizard

 On any given day, one of my family members is assigned the task of playing with the lizard.  Each participant chooses either the grass or sandbox.  

  Yes, I have four dogs who need their daily dose of stimulation.  Cats are also a part of our landscape.  I’ve got tunnels in the backyard and playground equipment that satisfies both kids and dogs, but honestly, it is the lizard, peering out from inside his glassy habitat that routinely makes me feel most guilty.

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