Thursday, September 14, 2017

Helpful Ways to Exercise your puppy

When getting a new puppy, sometimes we forget that they need to be "quarantined" before they get their final Parvo shot.  This means that your vet recommends keeping them only in the area of your personal yard and not taking them out into the world where they could potentially pick up the disease.  Parvo is very serious and highly contagious and cause severe health problems and even death in puppies.  Because of this, vets will usually recommend keeping your puppy to one "safe" area until their shots are complete, which is usually around 16 weeks old.  The problem here is that the prime socialization period for dogs is 6-16 weeks.  This is the most critical time to properly socialize your puppy.  However, the fear of Parvo can make this difficult.  I highly recommend contacting  a trainer in your area to safely socialize your puppy at a young age.

Besides socialization, puppies needs LOTS of exercise.  This can be difficult to do when you are not allowed to take your puppy out into the world.  The video & graphic above illustrate some helpful ways to exercise your pup before you are able to take them out after receiving all their Parvo shots.

Other Helpful articles:

Puppy Supply Check List
Small Dog Puppy Party

Information on Parvo from WebMD

Friday, August 25, 2017

Dog Paddle Boarding, Step One

This video shows the beginning steps to teaching your dog to learn to love being on a paddle board.
To really get your new dog or puppy to love paddle boarding, the best way to start is with the board on dry land.  Here you will see as we add a command word "Get On" to her getting on the board and saying "surf" when the board moves.  By using food, we create a positive association with the dog being on the paddle board.
Use your food to lure the dog onto the board while saying your command, such as "Get on."  Once the dog hops on, give your "Good" and reward with food.  We then add the command "Surf" as we move the board around to get the dog used to the movement.  Give food rewards often in the beginning.  The more we do this, the more of a positive association the dog will have with being on the board.  Remember to never force a scared or timid dog.  Take your time.  If your dog is frightened of the board, start giving food if the dog even gets close to the board, then if they put one paw on the board, etc.  Keep moving slowly forward until the dog gets on the board then reward with lots of praise and delicious food.

Stay turned for more training videos on teaching your dog to surf as Ahsoka gets older.

Related blog articles:

Join our Such Good Dogs team for Paddle for a Cure
Dog paddle boarding with Devo

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Join Paddle for the Cure

Join our "Such Good Dogs" team to raise money for Breast Cancer.
Follow this link and sign up or donate under our team name.

Maui Paddle for a Cure
EVENT DATE: OCT 08, 2017
7:00am – 1:00pm
Ka'anapali, Maui, Hawaii

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, The Butterfly Effect and Maui Jim present Maui Paddle for a Cure 2017. This fun non-competitive event for stand up, kayak and canoe paddlers takes participants along the beautiful shoreline of Ka'anapali Beach in West Maui to raise funds for Susan G. Komen, Hawaii Affiliate. Join us for this community water activity and after party at Hyatt Regency Maui with Anuhea!

100% of registration and donations goes to support Susan G. Komen Hawaii in their efforts for breast cancer education, awareness, prevention and treatment programs for women and men in the Hawaiian Islands. Our goal is to raise $55,000 in 2017!

Your paddle registration is your donation to Susan G. Komen Hawaii, and includes a pink rash guard, goodie bag, food, beverage, special room rates at Hyatt Regency Maui, and admission to the after party with concert by Anuhea! Registration cost will increase on October 1, 2017. Registration will CLOSE on October 7, 2017 at noon HST. On-site registration will NOT be available. After Party Tickets (admission only) will not increase and will be for sale at the door. ​ Don’t forget to fundraise by clicking the DONATE button! Even if you cannot participate in the paddle, you can set up your own fundraiser or donate to one of the many great existing teams (like our Such Good Dogs team).

"The Maui Paddle for the Cure, with inspired community and guest participation, fueled by this outstanding event, exemplifies this year's Komen Hawaii Race for the Cure credo that 'There Is A Hero In All Of Us' as we celebrate breast cancer survivors, educate for breast health and support research to find the cures." - Susan G. Komen Hawaii Mahalo for your kokua!

Related Blog Articles:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Come when Called, Part Two

Come When Called, Part Two

Come when Called:
We now add all 3 Steps to Come when Called.
1.  Say the dog’s name, and Come.  ONE TIME ONLY.
2.  Have a party.
3.  Lure the dog back to you.

The reason we have 3 steps is, we start with step one, if that doesn’t work, we try step 2, if that doesn’t work, we go to step 3.  Properly practicing the steps and following the rules to Come when Called will help you build a reliable recall.  This is one of the most important things you can teach your dog.  As your dog improves, you must practice by slowly increasing distance, then adding distractions. 

The Rules:
1.  Always have a leash (or fenced-in area).
2.  When you say come, you have to see it/ make it happen.
3.  NEVER punish a dog for coming to you.

When teaching your dog "Come when Called" it is helpful to play a game that we call Puppy Ping Pong.  For this game you need at least two people and one dog.  The main part of this game is to practice the Come command.  Always reward when your dog comes to you, then practice one or two other commands, such as sit, down, look, or any tricks you may be teaching your dog.  Then the next person will call the dog.  Start off about 10 feet away from each other.  As the dog improves, start moving further away and then around obstacles like a wall or tree so that you are out of sight and the dog has to find you.  It is important that if it is not your turn to call and interact with the dog, that you ignore the dog.  It will much harder for the dog to run to the other person if you are looking at them, smiling, or otherwise engaging the dog.  Communicate with your partner during this game so they know when it is their turn to call the dog.

Related Blog articles:
Come when Called, Part One

Friday, August 11, 2017

Playtime with Caravaggio & Ahsoka

Today's video:
A little bit of fun playtime featuring Caravaggio & Devo.  

Caravaggio is our Great Dane/ German Shepherd/ Black Lab mix; he is 9 and a half years old.  He's still doing well but he is getting older and starting to slow down.  We are slowly easing him into retirement.  He still is one of the best dogs I've ever had to help teach a new puppy.  It took him a few days to warm up to the idea that this new puppy was here to stay, but he did.  This is a quick video I caught of them having some fun.  It is important for a puppy to learn to play with dogs of all shapes and sizes.  

Ahsoka is our new puppy.  We adopted her last week.  She is a Lab mix, and now about 10 weeks old.  She was only 9 pounds when we adopted her but she is growing fast.  She will be trained in all the dog basics of course, but will also become my new main working dog (as we retire Caravaggio).  All of my dogs over the years assist me in training and socialization activities with Such Good Dogs.  They are all well versed in what to do or not do around dogs with a variety of behavioral issues.  Each of my dogs also has something in particular that they are best at.  Caravaggio was best at helping assist me in training with aggressive dogs.  He has done amazing over the years at listening to me while not reacting to the other dog's bad behaviors.  I am hopeful that Ahsoka will be able to take his place as my main training dog.  At least, that's the plan.

Devo is also used in training but somewhat less often.  He is social but does not care to play for very long with other dogs.  He prefers the company and love of humans most of the time.  However he is still useful in many situations.  Because of his aloofness and small size, I do not feel he can be my "main" dog used for training.  He's more like our little princess.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Come When Called, Part One

Teaching your dog:  Come when Called
Featuring:  Ahsoka (our 10-week-old Lab mix puppy).

Come when Called:
The Rules:
1.  Always have a leash (or fenced-in area).
2.  When you say come, you have to see it happen.
3.  NEVER punish a dog for coming to you.

The Steps:
  1. Say the dog’s name, and Come.  ONE TIME ONLY.
  2. Have a party.
  3. Lure the dog back to you.

When first teaching a dog Come when called, we start with step 1 & 3.  Standing directly in front of the dog (No distance), put the treat in the dog’s nose, say the dog’s name and Come (one time), then quickly back up a few steps.  When the dog follows, stop, say “Good!” and give the treat.

Related blog articles:
Come when called, Part Two

Friday, August 4, 2017

Puppy Supply Checklist

Today's Video:
What should you have for a new puppy or dog in your home?  Here is your...

Puppy Supply Checklist

There are many things to consider when bringing a new puppy or dog into your household.  Please take your time when choosing to add to your family.  Adopting a new animal into your home should be a decision for a lifetime.  That means you will care for that animal for its entire life.  That could be 10-20 years or more depending on the animal.  Please be responsible and respectful when making your decision.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Meet Ahsoka

Meet our new puppy:  Ahsoka.

She is a Lab mix, currently 9 weeks old and 9 pounds.  
We adopted her from Maui Humane Society.

We are very excited to add a new member to our family.  You will be seeing many future training videos featuring our little girl Ahsoka.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Small dog Puppy Party

Check out our video of a small dog puppy party (and Caravaggio) we had earlier this week.
Remember, socialization is important!


Bambu, a 12-week-old Pomeranian.
Brother Finnegan & Cornelius, 4-month-old Shitzu/ Bichon mixes.
SGDs pack Caravaggio & Devo, and honorary SGDs pack member, Nalu.

Proper Socialization is teaching a dog not to react to everyday things they will encounter by slowly desensitizing them to these things.  It is important to positively expose a puppy to as many different environments and situations as possible.  Keep in mind that exposure
needs to be slowly introduced at the dog's pace, not the owners.  Letting a puppy explore new things at his/her own pace will help them become more comfortable and help avoid negative reactions.  Another way to think of socialization is to consider it desensitization.  For example when having your puppy meet new people remember to include a variety things:  such as people who are short, tall, adults, kids, someone with a hat or glasses, someone in a wheelchair or on crutches, etc.  Improper socialized dogs can be frightened by normal human greeting behaviors.

Proper socialization is the number one way for you to avoid having a dog in the future that will develop serious behavior problems such as aggression. 

Once your dog has been approved by your vet to be around other dogs, start taking your dog everywhere you possible can.  A friend's house, a barbecue, a busy street, different pet stores, or even to work (if you're allowed).  The more places you can take your puppy, the better socialized and more calm your dog will become in any future situation.

Remember to go at the puppy's pace and not your own.  A puppy should always appear happy and relaxed during socialization. 

Socialization for a puppy should start as soon as possible but the best time to socialize a dog is before five months of age.  This does not mean socialization after this age is not important.

Helpful Links:
15 Best Small Dogs for Families with Kids

Related blog articles:

Trainer Tip:  Proper Dog Socialization
Breed of the Month:  Pomeranian
Breed of the Month:  Bichon Frise

Also scroll down the list at the side of the web page to see many more dog socialization videos.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Stay, Step One: Duration (time).

Teaching your dog to STAY.
Step One:  Duration (time).

Means to a dog:  Stay in this place until I come BACK TO YOU to release you.
Practice this cue FIRST.

Means to a dog:  Stay in this place until I ask you to do something else.  
ANOTHER CUE will follow the wait command.

First you must start by teaching a proper Stay command.  Do not move onto teaching the Wait command until you have trained the Stay command in all 3 parts.

3 Parts to the Stay Cue:
1.  Duration (time)
2.  Distance
3.  Distraction

Release Cue:
This means to a dog, you are now free to do what you want.  Common Release Cues include:  Break, Free, & Release.  I highly discourage owners from using “Okay” as a release cue.  This is a very commonly used phrase, and your dog may be randomly released by a passing stranger.  Use commands that are not common in every day speech.

To teach the Stay cue, put the dog into a Sit position in front of you.  Teaching the Stay is command you will need 2 hands for.  One hand will be giving your stop sign hand signal while the other hand delivers treats.  Put the leash under your foot to work without the distraction.  For this, you will also need a Release Cue.  Basically, you will rapidly feed your dog treats to remain in the Stay position.  We are teaching the dog that remaining in a Stay is highly rewarding.  As your dog is chewing the last treat, give your “Good,” then quickly give your Release Cue while turning on your heels and walking away.  Do not worry if your dog does not immediately follow.  After a few practice sessions, they will easily pick up the Release Cue.

To improve the cue, gradually make the dog wait longer between treats.  At first there may only be 1-3 seconds between treats.  As your dog improves, start making it harder and harder by making the dog wait a little longer between rewards.  Do not go too fast.  If you feel the dog is going to break the Stay, either treat them before they move, or release the dog before they release themselves.
It is VERY IMPORTANT to build up time before adding distance or distractions.  Building up a reliable Stay with time will make it easy to transition into training distance and distractions.  You should be able to get your dog to Stay for at least one minute before moving to adding distance.  Work on improving only one part of the stay cue at a time.  First duration, then distance, then distractions.

Related blog articles: