A Few More Days

Posted on Jul 10, 2016
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Yorkie
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As I look at sweet, tiny, Melody, I understand she may only be here for a few more days.  It brings up thoughts of a bucket list like others have shared with their pet.  We all know the bucket list is for us.  Realistically, at the end of life, who has the strength, will, or desire to fulfill a list of any kind.  Melody certainly doesn’t.  I believe her bucket list has been fulfilled over the past 8 years when she went from the shelter to my arms.

It’s heartbreaking to be at this point in time; yet, there’s no time for questions and/or thoughts of what I could have done or what I could do to give her more than just a few more days.  Melody may rally and surprise me with a few more weeks.  That would be wonderful.  I’m also realistic that at 15-17 years of age, she doesn’t deserve to be in pain or discomfort.  She deserves respect, love, and compassion.  I, on the other hand, have to be courageous enough to do what is right for her.

So, I ask for a few more (good) days.  Love to all reading this.

What’s On Your Dog’s Bucket List?

Posted on Aug 14, 2015
Dog Psychology, Dog's Bucket List, Dogs Express Emotion, Learn From A Dog, Uncategorized, Yorkie
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Recently, videos of people and their dogs fulfilling the dog’s bucket list are making the rounds on social media.  It made me think of my own dogs and, in particular, my senior Yorkie, Melody.  When I got her, her age was estimated to be between 10-13.  (She’s been 13 for five years!)  Regardless, I am aware she does things now that reflect her age (let’s call them senior moments).

A recent scare brought to mind the idea of a bucket list.  What would her bucket list be?  I thought of all the things that make her act excited and silly. The answer was simple – being with me.  I took her on a camping trip and with the cooler temperatures, beautiful trees, and even with squirrels everywhere, she only wanted to be with me.

I’m absolutely certain our dogs express joy and happiness; just as they also express fear and anxiety.  I know from my dogs that while they love going for walks, playing with toys, chasing lizards (or cats) – I’m at the other end of the leash, I’m the giver of the toys, and while Zoe would prove me wrong for a brief moment of time, they prefer me over chasing anything.

The bucket list?  That’s for us.  That’s us going for one last run or walk, one last toy toss, sharing that burger we never wanted them to have.  It’s all for us.  They don’t have an I’m-not-ready-to-go-yet list of things to accomplish.  They live in the moment.  The moment.  With us.

Teaching A Dog Boundaries

Posted on Aug 20, 2014
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Behavioral Modification, Boxer, Crate Training, Dog Humor, Dog Training, Doggie Rehab, Dogs and Instinct, Socialization, Uncategorized
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Teaching one dog a boundary (i.e., waiting at an open door) can be challenging and needs to be taught with minimal distraction as you work up to the major temptations.  Teaching it to three dogs….well, the pictures tell the story. “Oscar, Balboa, and Argus, good dogs.”  I even tossed out a toy and a ball and the most difficult challenge of all…having their dads walk past them as if greeting a guest at the gate.  So smart!

Of course, sit and down are easy in comparison.  Don’t tell the senior he isn’t lying down (he gets a free pass for putting up with the new, young adoptee).  Such a great family!

Rescue Sweet Rescue

Posted on Feb 12, 2014
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Behavioral Modification, Bully Happiness, Dalmation, Dog Humor, Dog Rescue, Dog Training, Doggie Rehab, Dogs and Instinct, Dogs and Sarcasm, Socialization, Teaching Your Dog to Stay, Timid Dog Behavior
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Meet Chloe and Coco.  Chloe is an adorable, smart, and amazingly mature 8 year old.  Her new best friend and rescued pup is Coco.  Chloe’s family already had two larger dogs who are very well trained and the addition of this little one was new territory, so I was called. I am more than delighted to have the pleasure of working with this family and their commitment to having a stable, well behaved small dog (not always an easy task with a nervous rescue).

As some of you know, my heart is with assisting timid dogs in gaining confidence and feeling secure in their new homes.  Initially, Coco was afraid of – well, as they say, her own shadow. Now?  I will let the images do the talking.  This is Chloe and Coco after we walked to school (with a lot of distractions) and are waiting for class to start.  I am truly amazed and impressed with how bonded these two are and how this little (a-lot-less-nervous-now) pup looks to Chloe for guidance.  A reminder that good things come in small packages – and, I’m not just talking about the dog.

Yorkie Nanny

Posted on Jan 29, 2014
Behavioral Modification, Dog Training, Energy and Dogs, Learn From A Dog, Palm Springs Dog Trainer, Palm Springs Dog Training, Training, Yorkie
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I have often said, “The best dog trainer is another dog.”  A well-adjusted, trained, and dog-friendly dog that is.  I do my job of observing and contributing when needed but mostly I say things like, “Wear them out, Zoe!”

Zoe looks like a giant Yorkie and that makes their interactions that much more enjoyable.

If you need assistance in training and/or behavior modification from either Zoe, myself, or both of us, we are here to help!

Who? What?

Posted on Nov 08, 2013
Dog Training, House Training, Housebreaking, Palm Springs Dog Trainer, Puppies, Yorkie
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These little guys are just too cute.  At almost four months old, these Yorkie brothers are learning their names and quickly becoming aware of their surroundings and their new home where they will be loved endlessly.  They will require constant supervision (crate, x-pen, or on a leash) and a consistent schedule for feeding and house-training.  We will begin basic obedience where “good” and “yes” are heard far more than “no”.  Right boys?  “YES!”

Ready For School!

Posted on Oct 17, 2013
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Humor, Dog Psychology, Dog Training
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The images below are of two of my recent pupils.  Moxie is the male Yorkie-poo and Matilda is the female Coton de Tulear.  I was going to write about the reason I was called to their home – the reactive behavior to some dogs and the not-so-happy gardeners (not that the dogs were happy being reactive).  However, if you are like me and are more of a visual learner, you would benefit more by watching me work with your dogs prior to you taking the leash.  So, I will use the pictures to show you one of the positive affects of a training session.  Before and after. . .I think they speak for themselves.

If you need help with a behavioral issue or just want a tired dog, give me a call!

Some People (Dogs) Are Afraid of Dogs (People)

Posted on Jun 12, 2013
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Psychology
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I came across this article that does an awesome job of explaining and illustrating how some people perceive dogs and how dogs see some people.  Dog lovers and advocates need to remember that. . .

Some People Are Afraid of Dogs and Some Dogs Are Afraid of People

Dogs And Counter Surfing

Posted on Oct 08, 2012
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I have worked with many dogs on counter surfing.  I must say that the training in someone else’s home is much easier than it is in my own!  Giving advice can be so much simpler than applying it! Teaching a dog that food on the counter is not for them is challenging at its best.

One product/tool I used with great success was the Tattle Tale.  It is a small box that sits on the counter and emits a very high pitched tone when it senses warmth and movement; i.e., a dog’s schnoz!  Some dogs merely find it annoying.  Violet, a large Great Dane, was terrified of it.  In fact, she wouldn’t go in a room if it was anywhere in sight.  Oh, if it were that easy.

Rather than go into other training tips, here’s my advice.  Ready?  Keep things pushed back and off the counters or keep the dog(s) out of the kitchen.  That is probably the only way to achieve 100% success.  Unless, of course, you have a dog like my Zoe that would not even consider doing something as barbaric as scouring the counters for human food.

The dog in this picture pretty much confirms my thoughts and takes counter surfing to a whole new level.

Oh No! My Dog Is Running Away!

Posted on Sep 13, 2012
Behavioral Modification, Teaching a dog recall
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Tonight, as I was leaving work, I turned the corner to witness a woman running toward the street.  In front of her was a very scared and frantically running Pug.  Fortunately, the bus was able to stop as were the other cars on the road.  I watched as several other people joined in the run as they yelled and waved their arms in the air while calling the dog.  The humans had definitely engaged in “let’s chase the dog.”  Dogs love this game even if they don’t know they are playing it.  It goes something like this. Dog runs.  People chase and yell angrily.  Dog runs.

I will be nice.  Let me just say, if I were that dog, I would have been running away from them too!  I get that we all panic when our dog gets out.  Some dogs just take off with no street smarts whatsoever and run rampant.  I’ll explain what I did.  (Only because it worked.)  It may not have, but it’s a little advice I’d like to share in the event your dog escapes or for any other dog you’re trying to catch.

I drove up to the next block and used my car to block the street.  It was very Starsky and Hutch but with less tire squealing.  I got out of my car and bent down on the ground.  The dog stopped in front of me.  Not so that I could get her, but at least she wasn’t running.  She was exhausted and frightened.  The people that were chasing her came running up the street attempting to see how loud they could say the dog’s name.  I think the dog knew its name.  Just a guess.  As they were getting closer, the dog stood up and looked for a place to run.  I called to those in hot pursuit of the runaway to kneel down so they would be less threatening.  They did, and the dog stopped.

It may not have, but it did.  Frantically screaming and chasing an already scared animal, is not the best way to get them to come to you.  If they run out of your site, you are out of luck, and believe me, I’ve been there.  The point I want to make is that if your dog gets away from you and is not already frantically running, the best thing you can do is call its name and turn around and run the other direction – hopefully, that’s toward home.  It’s scary to try it, but they will usually follow.

The Pug that is the topic of this post, was gathered up by her people, as one woman said, “I hate this dog.”  I’m hoping this was just a moment of frustration.  Maybe the dog knew exactly what it was doing.  Hope not.