Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
- Can your family commit to a weekly time/day for at least 6 weeks? Most group classes require participants to come every week for that period of time. Missing a class makes it very hard for you to get the full understanding of basic skills.
- Does your dog handler suffer from any disabilities that would make a class environment overwhelming or hard? (examples would be anxiety, hear impairment, etc).
- Is there someone to watch the kids and a person to handle the dog? Most group classes need at least 2 adults to accommodate children being there. Don’t try to watch the kids and train your dog. It rarely works out for the dog or yourself.
- Does your dog suffer from fear, aggression, hyper activity? A private training session should always be your first step.
- How old is your dog? Some young puppies do a lot better with training at home and going to puppy play classes to socialize. A combination can work wonders.
- How much experience do you have when it comes to dogs? If you have questions about everything than a private training session can bring you the answer you need. Most instructors have a limited ability to cover material outside of the curriculum in a group environment.
Russ practicing heeling at a rally practice indoors.
Outdoor class at the C Train station.
Two awesome jack russels who have enjoyed private training with Where's Your Sit.
This little Goldendoodle had both private, in home training and some pet sitting where she polished up her skills.
- What’s currently available for group classes (types of classes, times, length, instructors). If there’s a class that will benefit my dog and I can fit it in then I attend. An example of this would be when Marco was a puppy I didn’t need to take him to class to learn how to train him but I did want him to be exposed to a class environment. I enrolled us both in a Canine Good Neighbour class with a trainer I admired. This allowed him to practice his obedience in a new place.
- What does my dog need? When I adopted Remi she was really scared so a busy group class would be overwhelming for her. Luckily enough I could take care of the in home training myself. In addition to working on confidence boosting at home I also found a small sized fearful dog class for her to attend. The combination of these efforts worked great.
- What would I like to achieve? When Marco was a puppy I knew I wanted him to compete in dog sports. My goals were Rally Obedience and Agility. Because these goals were important to me I selected group classes that would advance that desire such as Canine Good Neighbour, Formal Obedience, Intro to Agility, etc. If you want your dog to participate in dog sports than research what’s available for puppies or young dogs in the beginner level. If your goals include having your dog do volunteer work with you than at bare minimum you need a beginner obedience class followed up by a Canine Good Neighbour class.
- How can I practice in as many places as possible? My dogs take classes with numerous trainers in Calgary. WHY? Because it exposes us both to new places and new ideas. I highly recommend expanding your practice base outside of just 1 building.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
- Marco and many other Aussies will bark or begin to guard when people, cars or animals walk by your home. If you live on a busy street this can drive you crazy as the bark is fairly loud and startles people. Solution in my home: close the blinds during high traffic periods. In the country you just wouldn’t have to deal with this or you would have limited traffic and you’d like to be alerted. Your dog is hardwired for this behavior.
- Marco likes to round up dogs he doesn’t know and sometimes grab them. He never hurts them or causes injury. If one of my other dogs is nervous than he is more likely to do this behavior as it changes from herding to guarding. Solution: strong obedience and limited interaction with strange dogs at park. Marco gets along great with dogs he’s introduced to.
- Marco’s play styles have always been rough and tumble. He plays great with other Aussies and many other dogs. However when playing chase he likes to tackle (most Aussies do). This isn’t acceptable with all other dogs as they might be small, in danger of being injured or intolerant of aggressive play. Solution: select Marco’s friends carefully and interrupt him when he goes into overdrive so to speak.
- Where does my dog come from and how will that impact his behavior?
- What was my dog breed or evolved to do and how will that impact his behavior?
- What’s my dog’s personality and how will that impact his behavior?
- What’s my dog’s own history (if known) and how will that impact his behavior?
Monday, April 8, 2013
- Continue to exercise your dog and if possible increase your exercise regime
- Consider using a crate for your dog beforehand and after the move. This gives your dog a space that is his/hers and it doesn’t change. Their dog bed should not be washed right before or after a move. The smells are important to your best friend.
- Use bones and stuffed kongs to give your dog an activity that helps relieve stress.
- Monitor your dog for signs of stress that include: off his/her food, loose stool, panting, difficulty in relaxing or settling down
- Consider using DAP, a thunder shirt, rescue remedy, calming music or even good old lavender to help relieve some anxiety
- Try to relax yourself. Dogs do pick up on the moods of their owners and may need to be reassured by you. Stay calm, relaxed and take a walk together.