Friday, April 28, 2017

Choosing the right dog: chicken chaser...Video of the Day

Video of the Day:
Choosing the right dog for your needs.
Today we are looking for a dog to chase away chickens, but not go after a cat.

I have a new client looking to adopt a dog.  She is looking to get a dog that will chase the feral chickens and roosters off her property, but not go after her cat.  For this, we will be looking for a dog with a good prey drive.  We use a feather duster to see what dogs might be a good potential fit for the client's needs.  After finding a few potential candidates, we talk with the Maui Humane Society staff to see what they know about these dogs.  One dog in particular likes to chase chickens on their morning walks.  This could be the right dog for the client.  We meet with the dog in a private area, then have the staff do a "cat test."  The dog reacts well to the cat.  He is interested but does not seem to want to chase the cat.  This is a good sign.  The client and I then sit down to discuss her options and what she thinks she might want to do.
It turns out that the client has a few upcoming commitments that would maybe make now not the right time to adopt.  She decided that it would be best to wait a few weeks and prepare a little more and try again when the time is more right for her.

When considering adopting a new family member into your household, it is important to everything into consideration.  What kind of pet would fit best into your lifestyle.  If you are someone who is very active and goes running every day, a dog that is high or very high energy would be a good choice.  If you are someone who likes to stay home and hang out, a low to medium energy dog might be the best choice.  When considering adopting a new dog, it is important to do your research.  What kind of breed types might be good for you and your family's needs.  These are important things to consider.  It is also important to note that just because you go the Humane Society or shelter, does not mean you need to find a pet that day.  Perhaps the perfect new pet is not there today.  Never rush into making the decision.  It should feel right, the timing must be good, and you should feel a connection with that animal.

Related blog articles:
What kind of dog should I get?
Canine body posture
Do I have time for a dog?
Dog behavior drives
Traits that impact training

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lipoa Point Hike: Video of the Day

Video of the Day:
Hiking Lipoa Point & visiting Nekita's memorial.

Our dog Nekita passed away unexpectedly last year.  It was extremely difficult for all of us.  It has now been just over a year.  To honor her this year, I bought a rose on the anniversary of her death that we kept in the house, then dried.  When the time was right, the family and I took the rose to Lipoa Point where we spread her ashes.  This was one of Nekita's favorite places to hike and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

This hike is through the old Pineapple fields.  It is just past Honolua Bay.  There is a dirt road referred to as the Surfers Road.  If you take that road all the way to the end, there is the start of a trail that goes along the ocean through the old pineapple fields.  It is amazingly beautiful and a great place to hike and then watch an amazing sunset.

Related Blog Articles:
Goodbye Nekita
Remembering Nekita

Video Adventures:  
Pineapple Hill
Maluaka/ Maui Prince Beach
Launiupoko Hike, south side
Hiking the L in Lahaina

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Happy Birthday Devo!

Video of the Day:
Happy Birthday Devo.

Today is Devo's third birthday.  It's hard to believe how fast my little baby boy has grown up.  He has been the best blessing to our family.  He's a little princess and enjoys lots of love and cuddle time, but also knows what is expected of him.  Can you train your dog to be a good dog and still get a cuddle bug?  Yes!  Yes you can.
Below are some of my favorite pictures of Devo over the years.  I love you baby boy!

Devo at 3 months with his big brother Caravaggio.

Devo & his sister Nekita who passed away :(

Devo's first trip to the beach.

Devo's 2 favorite things:  napping & play time.

Devo Yoda :)

Devo & Maile.

Devo & Ogi.

Devo working.

Devo working by helping another dog.

Devo, Nekita, & Caravaggio at one of our favorite spots, Kapalua Bay point.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Reactive dog training

Video of the Day:
Reactive dog training.
Featuring:  Ripley.

Ripley is very reactive to things, meaning she has a reaction that we would consider negative or unwanted.  Reactive dogs do things like growl, lunge and bark.  Dogs can be reactive to people, other dogs, or even objects.  Ripley is reactive to most things, but especially to dogs.  In today's video, we take Ripley around the Banyan tree in Lahaina, then down to the Harbor.  She does very well.  You will see her barking and lunging and growling at a dog at the Harbor.  Lucky for us, the harbor dog is very calm and well mannered and her owner was happy to help.  All they had to do to help us was exactly what they were already doing, their normal day.  The dog was tied so she could only go so far and was very nice and friendly.  She was a great help today.  Thank you Liko.

As you will see in the video, to help train a reactive dog to change their behavior and react in a positive calm way, there are a few things you must do.  First, mark any unwanted or negative behavior with an "Uh-uh" or "uh-oh."  Then immediately move away from the thing that has made the dog react.  Move far enough away until the dog calms down, then move back towards the thing that made them react.  If they react again, mark it with your "uh-oh" and move away.  Do this until you can get closer to the thing without the dog reacting.  Praise the dog whenever they don't react or react in a positive way.

Related Blog Articles:
Trainer Tips:  Reactive dog training

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Trainer Tips for Reactive Dogs

Trainer Tip Video:
What to do with a reactive dog.

A dog that barks, lunges, or has a negative reaction to other dogs, people, or objects is what we would call a reactive dog.  So how do you help train a reactive dog to act in a manner that you like?  Find out in the video...
The distance from a dog to the other dog, human, or object that they react to is what we call the threshold.  For this training, we are working on decreasing the distance of that threshold.  Basically, any time your dog reacts in a negative way or way you do not like, you are going to mark that behavior with a No Reward Marker...saying "Uh-oh" or "eh-eh," and move the dog away from what they are reacting to.  Once the dog calms down a bit, move back towards whatever has made them react.  Again, once the dog barks or lunges, mark the unwanted behavior and move the dog away.  Continue this exercise until you are able to get close to the other dog, person, or object without the dog reacting in a negative way.  Take your time doing this exercise and remember to stay calm and have lots of patience with your dog.  This training will take time, but does work.

Related Blog Articles:
Socialization Video with Lucy & Yoshi
Socialization Video with Ripley
Trainer Tip Video:  Socialization
Proper Dog Socialization
Walking a scared or timid dog
Redirection / No Reward Marker

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Socialization with Lucy & Yoshi: Video of the Day

Video of the Day:
Socialization for Lucy & Yoshi.

Both Lucy & Yoshi are reactive around dogs they do not know.  They will bark and lunge.  Today we are working on basic social behaviors.  If you have a dog that is reactive and barks and/or lunges at other dogs, people, or objects, this video can help.  Whenever your dog reacts negatively to something, mark the unwanted behavior with an "Uh-uh" or "Uh-oh" and move the dog away in the opposite direction.  Once the dog calms down a bit, go back towards whatever made them react.  If the dog reacts negatively again, repeat the "Uh-Uh" and move away.  The distance a dog can be to an object without reacting is what we call the threshold.  What we do with this kind of training is work on decreasing that threshold.

Related blog articles:
Trainer Tip Video:  Socialization
Proper Socialization
Socialization with Ripley
Socialization with Olivia

Friday, April 7, 2017

Puppy Party: SGDs socialization

Video of the Day:
Puppy Party at Lucy's house.

Join SGDs Caravaggio & Devo, and their friends Lucy, Nalu, & Moana.
They are having a lot of fun today.

Related Blog Articles:
Trainer Tip Video:  Socialization
Proper Dog Socialization

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Riley plays with tree park: Video of the Day

Video of the Day:
Riley plays with tree bark.

Join SGDs friend Riley at Flemmings Beach Park in Kapalua.  He has found a fantastic piece of a tree to rip apart and have fun with.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Puppy loves tennis ball: Video of the Day

Video of the Day:
Devo loves his tennis ball.

We are out at Flemmings Beach Park in Kapalua.  This is one of our favorite parks to hang out in and meet up with friends.  The dogs love it as well.  As you can see, Devo loves his little tennis ball.