Archives for Doggie Rehab category

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.

Why Foster A Dog?

Posted on Jan 02, 2011
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Dog Rescue, Doggie Rehab, Fostering a Dog
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“Saving the life of one dog surely won’t change the world. . .but it will certainly change the world for that dog.” Author Unknown

It always feels good to pay it forward, to share our strengths, and to give in any way we can.  I believe it’s our responsibility to do what we can when we can (and sometimes when we don’t think we can).  Why foster?  Here are a few of my reasons. . .

Post Traumatic Stress in Military Dogs

Posted on Aug 03, 2010
Behavioral Modification, Dog Psychology, Dog Training, Doggie Rehab, Protection Dogs, service dog
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Here’s an interesting article about Gina, a military bomb-sniffing dog, and her experience with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Having witnessed this in many dogs, I know how long of a process it can be to help the dog be comfortable being a dog again. So, while the article is informative, I am greatly disappointed to read the dog is being rehabilitated so it can go back into service. I don’t know about you, but knowing that would be enough for me to be sure I didn’t heal completely. I wish Gina could make that choice.


When You Surrender A Dog

Posted on May 09, 2010
Behavioral Modification, Dog Rescue, Doggie Rehab, Socialization, Timid Dog Behavior
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I came across the paperwork I had on my precious, little Melody.  As I worked with some timid dogs at the local shelter to help them be adoptable, I met a not-so-happy Yorkie who had been surrendered.  She had been a breeder at a puppy mill.  This is the statement of surrender the woman had to sign in order for this no-kill shelter to take responsibility for her.


I, the undersigned, do hereby unconditionally donate to the Morongo Basin Humane Society, my animal to dispose of as it sees fit, relinquishing all my rights, title and interest in said animal.  I further represent that I am the owner thereof, or the agent for the animal.  I understand that any animal may be euthanized.

I read and re-read the above paragraph.  Knowing Melody as I do now, it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to sign such an agreement.  I am in no way faulting the shelter.  This is what they have to do and this shelter is great and does so much for so many.  I was fortunate enough to bring Melody home to help her trust human touch, and the rest is history.

If you or anyone you know, needs to re-home a dog, please do your best to find a home without surrendering to the already over-crowded shelters.  It is traumatic for a dog to go from a loving home environment to a shelter.  If I can be of assistance in any way, please let me know.

What’s In Your Collar?

Posted on May 04, 2010
Behavioral Modification, Dog Commands, Dog Humor, Dog Psychology, Dog Training, Doggie Rehab, Dogs and Cognitive Learning, Socialization
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There are so many options when it comes to purchasing a collar for your dog. Should you use a harness? What type of harness is best? If using a collar, is the flat nylon style adequate? Some trainers will only train using a prong/pinch (or power steering collar, as I call them). My personal
favorite is the Martingale-style training collar.

Let’s face it, dog training is dog training when it comes to basic commands. It’s what happens when the leash and collar come off that is the true test. A lot of dogs go into their training mode when a specific collar is used for training versus the one used for a walk. They quickly learn what is expected depending on their “jewelry.”  Much like a service or search and rescue dog knows it’s working when wearing a vest.  Dogs are smart!  We train them well (or they train us well).  =)

I make certain that any dog I work with knows their commands regardless of their collar or harness. The collar and leash are tools. The end result is not that your dog responds nicely during the 15 – 20 minutes of training, but rather they listen, respect, and want to please you when training is done. Training becomes a way of life. Aren’t we always teaching others how to treat us!

After the basics, I suggest switching to a 15 – 20 foot leash to perfect “stay.” It’s also beneficial for teaching them to “come” and for distance learning. Too often, after puppy class, the leash and training are set aside until the dog does something not so pleasing to the human. I can assure you, the dog is always great at being a dog and not so great at thinking like a human.  It takes (a lot) of time and consistency to create a mutually respectful relationship with your dog.

As a side note, I have seen too many dogs who were broken (for lack of a better word) by harsh training using a prong collar. Not every dog is the same, and it’s important to be willing to try different tools to see what works for your dog. If a trainer/behaviorist only does it one way, I’d find another trainer. No two dogs are the same any more than two humans.

I am happy to answer any questions you have, and if you live in the Palm Springs area, I would love the opportunity to work with you and your fur family.

Update on Courage

Posted on Apr 28, 2010
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Behavioral Modification, Dog Abuse, Dog Rescue, Doggie Rehab
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I posted previously about Courage, the German Shepherd left to starve to death in his human’s yard. Here is a link to his web site. What an inspirational story! He is also being adopted by his foster family.

German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County Features Courage

Diamond in the Ruff!

Posted on Apr 25, 2010
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Dog Abuse, Dog Rescue, Doggie Rehab
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I have known so many dogs like this jewel…don’t pass them by.

Destruction of a Dog’s Spirit

Posted on Oct 09, 2009
Behavioral Modification, Dog Psychology, Dog Training, Doggie Rehab
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Some people, trainers included, believe that dogs are just dogs.  They can be treated harshly and will be fine.  They can be left outside all of the time without being given attention, and be fine.  I guess it depends on your definition of fine.

Dogs aren’t human (duh, I know!)  They can, however, be treated in ways that destroy or, at a minimum, lessen their spirit or true nature.  This can happen if they are treated too much like a human, and it can and does happen if they are sensitive in nature and treated with excessive force.

I have been working with a sweet Doberman who was sent away for training.  She was trained alright.  She returned to her human, with her head down, ears flat, and looking as sad as a dog can look.  In just a few days, she is starting to act like a dog again.  More than that, she’s acting like who she is.  She hasn’t forgotten her commands (greatly needed as she is a service dog), but she is beginning to lift her head and receive praise rather than waiting for the force of a heavy-handed correction.

Dogs are like us!  Some are more sensitive than others, so not all techniques work the same on every dog.  It’s important to consider the breed when you are training.  A Golden Retriever or Lab can sit or lie down in an instant.  Great Danes, Dobermans, and Greyhounds are several of the breeds that sit and lie down in what may appear to be slow motion.  Harsh corrections for not responding quick enough will only serve to make them cower and work against the relationship you are hoping to establish with them.

Be open to options and varying opinions when training your dog.  There is more than one way to “train” a dog and it is certainly better to choose one that let’s your dog learn and still be the dog they are intended to be!

Pup My Ride

Posted on Sep 03, 2009
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Doggie Rehab, Puppy Mills
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Best Friends Animal Society’s “Pup My Ride” Program is back in the Midwest, transporting more than 150 rescued Puppy Mill Dogs to rescue groups in New York and New Jersey.  Thank you Best Friends!

A video featuring Beatrice and Beauty