The Practice of Patience

The Practice of Patience

To be calm, confident, and relaxed is a practice. There’s a reason it is called a practice: We must actually do the work. When something triggers us, we must stop and recognize what we are feeling. Then we can make the appropriate decision about how we should respond. Responding in any type of reactive way—anger, frustration, panic­—would be negative. You might get a response based on fear, but it will not be a respectful and trustworthy response.

Dogs respond and listen to calm confident …

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Phase One: Respect through Repetition

Phase One: Respect through Repetition

If you have a dog with a sharp temperament, he needs someone to set more limits with him. Soft personalities are more sensitive and engage in direction more easily. You should never be harsh, but you should be firm. Once you decide that you are going to require something or engage in an activity, be sure you follow through. But you must first have a vision of what you want in order for you to know where you are going, and you can’t …

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Becoming a Loving, Benevolent Dictator

Becoming a Loving, Benevolent Dictator

This week, we’re going to kick off our Mind. Body. Spirit. Dog. Summer Series. The goal of this series is to get you looking at and thinking about yourself and your relationship with your dog. What kind of relationship do you currently have? What kind of relationship do you have with yourself? Others? What kind of relationship would you like to have? I know, I know. It seems kind of silly. But, this kind of introspection can really help you with person-to-person relationships as well. …

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Laser Pointer Syndrome in Dogs

Laser Pointer Syndrome in Dogs

Laser pointers may initially seem like a great way to exercise your dog. Unfortunately, they can cause serious problems for their future. We’ve all seen the videos of dogs (and cats) chasing that elusive red dot. You may have even done it with your pup. And while we’re provided a few minutes of entertainment, they meet with an enormous amount of frustration. They can never be successful.

After playing like this, dogs can easily become obsessed over lights, reflections, and even shadows. This type …

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Starting a New Puppy Off Right

Starting a New Puppy Off Right

Let me begin with saying that I do not recommend getting any animal as a gift. Unless of course, lots of planning and research has gone into your decision. Having said that, people will be people. So let’s talk about how to choose the right puppy and get off on the right foot.

Please do not choose a dog because of the cuteness factor. Always think of temperament and energy level first. These are the more important things than cute that you …

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Understanding Cage Rage

Understanding Cage Rage

Have you ever heard the term “cage rage”? Cage rage looks like an intense aggression problem. Dogs are naturally den animals. They should enjoy their crates and see them as a refuge to get away from it all some times. Cage rage is not an aggression problem at all, but it’s based on being anxious and fearful and not trusting the crate.

Some dogs have anxiety from the beginning. Crying, screaming, and yelling to get out of the crate on their first …

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The “D” Word: Dominance

The “D” Word: Dominance

When it comes to describing dogs, the word dominance is thrown around a lot these days. But what does it really mean? Is it a bad thing? Or a good thing? Really it’s neither. But it does exist.

Any species that live within a group understand that there is a hierarchy in place. Think about your family. Is there hierarchy? Or maybe someone, or more than one someone, is in charge. Someone has to make the decisions that are best. Some people …

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Energy: The Silent Communication

Energy: The Silent Communication

What is energy? Some people understand this concept readily. Other people need a little help to understand it.

The best example I can give would be to ask if you have ever met someone or passed someone on the street that gave you the creeps? Did they have to say, “I’m creepy?” Probably not. So how did you know? You felt it. This is energy—an unspoken language that we all encompass.

Human beings gained language eons ago, but it dulled our …

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A Dog’s Work vs. Vacation

A Dog’s Work vs. Vacation

Do you work before you get a vacation?  Are you tired when you get home after a long day at work?  Has your day been mentally taxing?  Were you using a lot of brain power?  Does anyone feel sorry for you for putting in a good day at work?

Well, dogs need to work too!  Most domestic dogs were originally bred to do some type of work.  Without the ability to express themselves in the work they were intended to perform, we see problems because many dogs in America …

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Thunderphobic Dogs

Thunderphobic Dogs

Thunder or storm phobia is a fairly common affliction among dogs.  But what do we do about it?  Sadly, there are no cures for storm phobia…however, it can be managed. Do not get discouraged. It takes time, patience, and even some medications in more severe cases.

Where to start?

Firstly, we need to pay attention to the weather forecaster in order to make some of the techniques effective we need to be ahead of the storm.
One of the first tools I recommend is a Thunder Shirt.  Any tool we …

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