Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Keaton, German Shepard Mix

Keaton is quite a handful.  Very jumpy and extremely nippy.  Keaton is a very impulsive dog.  Although we started with the basics like food lure, sit, down, and kennel, we also ventured to Leave-It so that I could help get the fosters on the right path.  Although it did take him a long time (the longest I've had to wait for a dog so far), the fosters were able to see that Keaton was slowly picking up on the command.  I encouraged the foster mom to be the only one doing the Leave-It training with Keaton for now because he still bites fairly hard at your hand, and her two kids are rather young.  All three family members went through truing with Keaton on Sit, Focus, Down, and Come.  We went over all the right and wrong things to do when he jumps and nips.  The kids learned how important it is to give a dog good positive feedback so he knows exactly what behavior he should be doing.  The fosters will now be giving him more exercise and working daily with him on basic obedience skills and impulse control.  I believe with a few more weeks of good training and exorcism we will see a drastic improvement in Keaton's behavior.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Christy, Shepard/ Yellow Lab Mix

Christy lives in a very big family with 2 parents and 6 kids.  The problem that Christy is having is that no one in her household is being consistent.  I worked with the mom and 5 of kids and each person went through training on how to do each command properly.  They all took turns, it was very sweet.  They were amazed at Christy's quick progress.  Christy's (and the family's) most difficult new challenge will be learning to stay out of the kitchen.  The family had a real problem with there stealing food off the table and out of the trash.  To simplify the problem with such a big household it was easiest to teach them how to keep her out of the kitchen all together.  It will be difficult at first, but she will eventually fall into line.  She picked up training very quickly and easily.  I encouraged the family to make a chart (fun art project for the little kids) with commands and Do's and Don't for the dog.  The were excited to do so.  This will help keep the family consistent, and Christy will do very well.

Christy may have a dog aggression problem however.  The family had mentioned that she had "attacked" their neighbor dog.  I asked the family to show me what happens when the dogs meet (in a safe way) and Christy aggressed towards the other dog.  The family does, however, have another neighbor with a male (instead of female) dog that Christy gets along with fine.  The family will need further help with this problem in the future, and further training to curb this problem ASAP!  Until that time, the family was advised not to greet other dogs.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Ozzy, Beagle/ Shit-zu mix

Ozzy and family were a real joy to work with.  Although the family had many issues they wanted to work on, most of their questions came from being first-time dog owners.  I showed them the basics like food lure and sit, and what to do when he jumps on them or barks for their attention.  They are currently signed up to take the next round of basic obedience classes through MARS, which I am very excited they are doing.  I am confident they will do very well with the simple things I showed them and the things they will learn in class.  Great family, they will put in the proper work and give Ozzy the proper exercise and will end up with a very amazing little family pet.  He's so cute!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sassy, Conclusion

After our first session I asked the family if they had reached a decision and HOORAY they decided to officially adopt her!

On my follow-up session we went over some of the same things concerning her jumping and nipping, especially towards the mom of the household.  Mom had to be instructed on to how to use better body language around Sassy and how to be calm and firm at the same time.  I discovered on my second visit just now little exercise Sassy was actually getting and conveyed to the t=family how very important it was for them to dramatically increase it.  They are looking into possibly adding agility to Sassy's routine in the near future.

I hope the family keeps up with the training and gets Sassy the exercise she needs.  If they do they will have a very wonderful dog for life!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Foster--Calvin, Conclusion

I must say, I really fell in love with Calvin.  If I owned my own house, I would have considered adopting him.

Calvin likes to greet people in a very boisterous way at the door, including jumping up on you the second you get through the door.  Calvin's foster mom also had 3 other dogs in the house.  To best help Calvin, it was important to work on an Auto-Sit at the door with all four dogs individually, then slowly adding them all together.  Calvin is an extremely fast learner.  I believe Calvin would make an excellent dog for the person who has the time to train and properly exercise him.  Calvin is also somewhat of an escape artist, so it is very important that he be both physically AND mentally challenged on a daily basis.  Calvin has made vast improvements in his behavior over the course of our training and I believe that as long as his foster (or hopefully future adoptive) parents continue to train and challenge him, he will become a fabulous dog.  He is a very sweet and loving dog, and I will truly miss getting to work with him.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Foster--Petie, Day 2

Petie was a lot of fun to work with.  He is a very excited Lab Mix that just wants to something...anything.  Petie picked up training very quickly and very well.  He learned the "Down" cue in just two tries, which his fosters could not get him to do.  Petie is another great dog that just needs a little more training and a LOT of exercise.  Petie's biggest problem is jumping.  He has made great progress in learning not to jump when someone turns their back.  When we first started training with jumping he would grab onto your back and hold on.  He has since improved from that greatly.  Once you get Petie properly focused on you, he will do anything you ask.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Breed of the Month--Dalmatian


Color:  Pure white with black or liver spots.
Height:  Males:  22-24 inches/  Females:  21-23 inches
Weight:  Males:  59.5-70.5 lbs/  Females:  53-64 lbs
Life Span:  11-13 years

Breed Health Concerns:  Skin allergies and problems, deafness, hip dysplasia, urolithiasis, hypothyroidism, epilepsy.

Coat:  Dense, sleek, short, hard, glossy
Country of Origin:  Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia)

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

The Dalmatian gained his name from Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia), where the earliest known records were.  With his breed history full of legend, the Dalmatian is known to have worked with horses for many years in early Europe, where the breed eventually became known as an ornament for the wealthy.  Their position has since moved into working alongside firemen, originally running in front of the water carriage and barking to clear the way.

To keep this tradition going, field trials are held today where Dalmatians follow carriages for many miles.  Most any firehouse in the United States today will still have a Dalmatian as their mascot.  The Dalmatian is a high-energy, enthusiastic breed that needs proper positive reinforcement training and socialization to thrive.  The immense amount of energy this breed has can be difficult for many people to manage properly.

The Dalmatian was bred for long journeys alongside fire trucks and coaches and requires a LOT of daily exercise.  This breed is great for the daily runner or biker.  The Dalmatian needs extensive exercise several times a day.  The Dalmatian has one of the highest energy levels of any breed!

The short coat sheds and must be brushed regularly.  Kept clean, the Dalmatian is an eye catcher!

The Dalmatian is a capable and quick learner when properly motivated.  Socialization is highly important for this breed.  The Dalmatian is an independent thinker and does not always focus on the trainer easily.  Patience and consistency are vital when training this breed.