The Missing Link: Why You’re Struggling to Train Your Pup and How a Comprehensive Dog Training Program Can Help

The second you bring a new dog into your home, your life changes forever. While most of the changes are positive, you might also find yourself wondering, “what did I get myself into?”

Just like humans, dogs can come with a variety of behavioral challenges that occur in both puppyhood and adulthood. Challenges such as…

  • Using the toilet indoors.
  • Destructive behaviors due to stress/separation anxiety.
  • Biting, growling, and showing aggressive tendencies.
  • Incessant barking.
  • Jumping, pulling on the leash, and not coming when called.
  • And SO much more!

It’s these behaviors that steal the joy out of dog ownership and might have you wondering if you made a mistake by bringing home your new canine companion.

As a good dog parent, I bet that you’ve already spent time scouring the internet for resources to help your dog overcome whatever behavioral challenge they are experiencing.

And like many dog owners, it’s possible you’re still not finding success as you try and piece together all the training techniques you’ve found online.

Sound familiar?

There’s a reason this happens, and today I want to share WHY this happens, along with WHAT YOU CAN DO to once-and-for-all solve your dog’s training issues.

Let’s start by taking a look at the underlying problem…piecing together random training programs.

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Why ‘Pieced Together’ Random Methods are Failing Your Dog

Just like a jigsaw puzzle, you need all the right pieces, fitting together perfectly in order to complete it.

The same is true for dog training…

Of course, there are many wonderful dog training programs out there. And it makes me happy to know that many trainers use kind, gentle methods. However, when you start mixing and matching methods, things can quickly become CONFUSING FOR YOUR DOG.

Now, I want you to think for a minute about how you learned how to tie your shoes as a child.

Did you use the rabbit ear method? Were you taught the criss-cross applesauce technique? Were you instructed to use double knots or single knots?

At the end of the day, all of the methods teach you how to tie your shoes. However, if you attempted to use all the techniques at once, your shoes would end up in a knotted mess…

So before we go any further I’d like to share with you one of the most amazing stories of a lady who experienced what it was like when she put a Consistent, Complete Method in place VERSUS her usual blend of average approaches = The Epic Fail!

(Watch the video below…)

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If you want your dog to understand how you want them to behave you have to “speak” to them in the same language, staying constant with how you ask for and correct various behaviors.

(Looking for a consistent, comprehensive training program?. Try my Complete Pack training program for only $1 here!)

Unfortunately, when dog owners try to piece things together using different training solutions, dogs often become confused and frustrated.

This is often because the foundation is lost—the part that develops the solid connection between you and your dog, that relationship bond, that bit that makes them feel like they should LISTEN!

This frustration can lead to additional challenging behaviors leaving your dog anxious and difficult to manage and you feeling like you’re incapable of training your dog.

The worst part…as dog behavior gets worse, many people turn to harsh training products because they feel they have no other option.

The Danger of Turning to Harsh, Expensive, and Harmful Training Products

I know how exhausting it is to feel like nothing you’re trying is helping to train your dog. It’s this exhaustion and frustration that often leads people to turn to harsh training products such as…

  • Electric collars.
  • Choke chains.
  • Electric fences.
  • And other harmful tools.

While these solutions might give you a quick fix to your current problems, they most certainly are needed and are often not a long term solution. In fact, harsh training products often cause more problems in the long run.

Why?

Because your dog learns out of FEAR instead of listening to you out of love and respect.

Let’s face it, would you like an electric current shot through your throat when you didn’t obey? Hmmm… That’s food for thought, but it’s true.

In fact, I often say to people, I know I could get my kids to do ANYTHING I asked them to do if I put a shock collar on them.

However, it is completely unnecessary and, in my opinion, inhumane. I feel the same is true for dog training. More than anything else it is not needed when you truly understand how to communicate with your dog.

Even worse, when you use harsh training tools, you often miss the underlying issue. This can lead to your dog developing other behavioral issues such as anxiety or aggressive tendencies – exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve!

The only way to truly train your dog to listen to you when it matters most is by using a comprehensive, calm and gentle training program like The Complete Pack.

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With the Right Tools, Dog Training Doesn’t Have to Be a Struggle

The strategy of taking little bits of lots of different training programs and mashing them together rarely works. More often than not, both you and your dog will end up frustrated and confused, which is why you are reading this now…

The last thing I ever want to see is dog owners struggling with their beloved dogs. So my advice is this…

Pick one comprehensive training program that covers all dog training issues—from puppyhood to adulthood—and stick with it.

So let me go through what should be included in a complete training program by going through my own program, The Complete Pack.

This is a collection of my online courses that provides you with everything you need to solve your dog’s issues. More importantly, the calm, gentle approach helps you create a relationship and a safety net and a way of being with your dog that will work for you in every situation moving forward.

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A Look Inside Doggy Dan’s Complete Pack of Courses

Within The Complete Pack, you’ll get access to 6 of my most powerful dog training programs. Here’s a quick look at what’s included…

1. The Dog Calming Code The foundational program that teaches you how to connect deeply with your dog so that your dog sees you as someone they should listen to all the time. Using this program, you’ll discover the underlying causes of dog aggression, barking, leash pulling, jumping up, not listening and general naughty behavior.

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2. Everyday Tools and Techniques – You need to have the necessary tools and techniques to establish yourself as the leader of your dog, much like parents need to set an example and be the leader for their children. The tools you’ll discover in this program (how to use verbal commands, long lines, the calm freeze, etc.) are the same tools that the pros use to maintain composure when it really matters when training a dog.

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3. Project Moses Video Diary – Just brought home a new puppy? One of the first things you’re going to want to know is how to overcome potty training, mouthing, biting, jumping, etc. My Project Moses video diary provides you with a video diary that walks you through the timeline of everything you need to know about raising a new puppy. You’ll watch me set up an environment and train my new puppy Moses from the time he was 8 weeks old to one year.

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4. Perfect Puppy Program – Most new dog owners struggle with finding solutions to meeting their new puppy’s needs in the first few months of dog ownership. It’s just like bringing home a new baby and wondering why your infant is crying all the time. This program offers all the tips, tools, and resources you need to ensure your puppy is happy, healthy, and is set up for obedience training success!

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5. Dan’s Dog Training 101 – Everyone wants their dog to know some commands. While not everyone wants their dog to learn how to get a beer out of the fridge, commands like sit, stay, and come are very important. My Dog Training 101 program teaches you how to set a solid foundation with basic commands that will become essential as your dog gets older.

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6. All Dog Problems Solved – If you’ve got an older dog and things are starting to fall apart, don’t panic! Old dogs can be taught new tricks! In my “All Dog Problems Solved” program, I’ll walk you through how to fix 37 of the most common dog issues.

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The Forum – While the Complete Pack provides you with everything you need to successfully train your dog, it’s nice to have real, human support in case you get hung up along the way. When you sign up for the Complete Pack, you get access to the forum—an online space where you can ask questions and get help from our resident professional dog trainer, Hayley, who can tailor the training to your dog’s specific needs.

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So there you go, if you’ve been struggling with your dog…

  1. Because of using different bits of different methods, OR
  2. Because you have a special dog who’s a bit more tricky to train

Then maybe it’s time to check out the Complete Pack and put this simple program in place—something over 47,000 people have used.

Imagine the feeling in a couple of hours time as you realise you’ve finally found the program that actually makes sense…to both YOU and your DOG!

Get access to EVERYTHING in The Complete Pack for only $1!

Love and blessings to your relationship together…

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

Fake Turf Vs. Real Grass: The Pros and Cons of Accessible Grass Potty Patches for Dogs

People all over the world own dogs. Some are posh apartment pets, while others spend their days running around on farms.

The common denominator of all of these dogs?…They all have to use the bathroom!

If you live in a nice suburban area with a fenced-in backyard or a rural piece of land where your pup can roam, letting your dog out to go to the bathroom is a no brainer.

But, if you live on the 14th floor of an apartment complex, getting outside every few hours to let your pup relieve himself is more of a challenge. The good news is that companies now make grass potty patches that you can place on your patio so your pup can use the bathroom whenever they need it.

When it comes to these patches, you can find them made of fake turf or real grass.

Which is better to use?

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons starting with fake turf…

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Pros and Cons for Fake Turf

Fake Turf Pros

Fake Turf Pro #1 – Fake Turf Never Dies

It’s obvious that fake turf will never die. Therefore you don’t have to continuously replace the turf if it ends up getting a little too much sun or you forget to water it.

Because it’s fake, your dog’s urine also won’t discolor or kill the grass.

Fake Turf Pro #2 – Fake Turf is Cost-Effective

If you’re diligent about cleaning your dog’s fake grass potty pad, it can last for a long time.

This does require time and effort and must be done on a weekly basis, if not more frequently.

Fake Turf Pro #3 – Fake Turf is Easy to Access

Fake turf patches for dogs can be found in just about any pet store.

If you need a quick solution to provide your pup with somewhere to use the bathroom, running out and buying fake turf isn’t difficult.

Fake Turf Cons

Fake Turf Con #1 – Fake Turf Needs To Be Cleaned

Fake turf is typically made out of plastic. And plastic won’t absorb your pup’s urine.

For this reason, fake turf needs to be cleaned frequently so it doesn’t smell. If it gets too messy, your dog might refuse to use it all together.

Fake Turf Con #2 – Fake Turf Isn’t Environmentally Friendly

Producing patches of fake grass for dogs to use isn’t very environmentally friendly. During production, a number of harmful CFCs are released into the environment.

While these grass patches are reusable, they will need to be replaced from time to time. This leads to even more waste.

Fake Turf Con #3 – Unnatural Scent

Fake turf is plastic, so of course, it’s not going to smell like normal grass.

Most dogs are drawn to the scent of fresh grass and associate that smell with where they are supposed to use the bathroom. If you are potty training your pup, fake grass that smells like other synthetic materials in your home might be confusing.

And now onto using real grass turf…

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Pros and Cons of Real Grass

Real Grass Pros

Real Grass Pro #1 – Real Grass Potty Patches are Self-Cleaning

Real grass potty patches are able to clean themselves.

The grassroots absorb the urine and whatever doesn’t get absorbed ends up being filtered through the dirt. Of course, any solid waste will have to be scooped up.

Real Grass Pro #2 – Real Grass Naturally Attracts Your Dog

Have you ever noticed while out on a walk that your dog waits until they find the perfect patch of grass to do their business, instead of relieving themselves on the concrete or in the dirt?

There’s something about fresh grass that naturally attracts a dog and encourages them to do their business. So, if you choose to use real grass, you may have an easier time teaching your pup how to use the bathroom on your potty patch.

Real Grass Pro #3 – Real Grass is a Safe, Natural Option for your Pup

When you’re using real grass, you don’t have to worry about your dog using the bathroom on a product filled with chemicals and toxins.

A grass potty patch is the closest thing you can give your pup to a natural backyard.

Real Grass Cons

Real Grass Con #1 – Real Grass Must be Maintained

If you want your grass patch to last for a little while, you have to water it and keep it in an area that gets adequate sunlight.

Neglect your grass patch and it will die before your dog gets full use out of it.

Real Grass Con #2 – Regular Replacement of Real Grass is Costly

Real grass patches will have to be changed at least once a month, possibly more depending on how frequently your pup does his business on it.

Most grass patches cost about $30 each, so if you replaced yours every month it would cost around $360 per year to maintain your dog’s outdoor potty area.

Real Grass Con #3 – Real Grass Patches Are More Difficult to Find in Stores

Grass is a living thing. Therefore, many pet stores don’t keep it in stock on their store shelves!

If you want a grass patch, you will likely have to order it online. This means it could take days or weeks for your potty patch to arrive at your doorstep. Although there are now (believe it or not) companies that specialize in delivering regular pieces of lawn to your door such as Doggie Lawn.

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So Which Option Should You Choose?

There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to selecting the type of potty patch that will work for you.

Both options have pros and cons. What’s important is that you provide your dog with a safe place for when nature calls.

If you are interested in trying out a real grass option, I recommend a service called Doggie Lawn.
(Only available in the United States.)

Doggie Lawn is a subscription service that sends environmentally-friendly patches of grass to your door on your own schedule.

Find out more about Doggie Lawn here!

Best of Luck!

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

5 Safety Rules to Protect Your Pup This Holiday Season

A lot changes in your household during the holiday season…

  • Visitors come and go
  • New decor is placed around your home
  • Different food dishes are often prepared

…and while all these things might be normal to you, they can be really confusing (and stressful!) to your pup!

As we are just days away from celebrating the holidays, it’s more important than ever to set safety rules in your home regarding you dog!

What rules do you need to put in place to keep your pup safe? Keep reading to find out…

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Rule #1 – Set Boundaries on How People Interact With Your Dog

Some dogs want nothing more than to be surrounded by people who will pet and play with them. For other dogs, the thought of being in a room full of strange people is overwhelming and unnerving.

You know your dog best, so it’s your job as a pet parent to set boundaries around how your dog is interacted with.

If you have a dog who becomes nervous, cranky, or scared around people, it’s vital that you take precautions to protect your pet. Sadly, unnecessary fear and stress can cause your pup to lash out, and possibly even hurt someone as your dog is simply trying to protect himself.

Here are a few ways you can do this…

  1. Tell houseguests to ignore your pup. This works well if you have a dog who isn’t very reactive but who still needs to be left alone. Adults are better at following this rule, so if you have a houseful of kids coming to stay with you setting this rule might not be an option.
  2. Provide a safe, quiet place for your dog. I believe it’s best to never risk an accident occurring with a nervous dog, so this option is my favorite. If you’re having people over, set your pet up in a safe place (like a bedroom) where no one will bother him.

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Rule #2 – Set Guidelines on What Your Pet is Allowed to Eat

Most people have the best intentions when they go to throw your pup a treat from the dinner table. But there are many reasons why you should clearly communicate what your dog can/can’t eat to everyone who gathers around your table.

First and foremost, there are a lot of dangerous foods that can make dogs really sick. For example, chocolate can kill dogs—something that someone who is not a dog owner might not know! Or if someone throws your dog a chicken leg with the bone in it, your pup can end up with a punctured stomach or intestinal blockage.

If you’re going to allow people to give your dog treats, make a list of the foods your dog is allowed to have, such as sweet potatoes, green beans, or turkey off the bone.

Second, you may not want your dog eating people food at all—and that’s totally ok. It’s possible that your dog is overweight or has a food sensitivity. In these types of scenarios it’s important to make sure everyone knows it’s NOT ok to feed your dog and that he is on a strict diet.

Finally, you might be in the midst of training your dog and allow him to eat scraps from people at the table could be disruptive to learning proper meal time manners. After all, bad habits (such as putting a nose on the table or begging for food) can be hard to break.

Once again, in this type of situation, it’s ok to make an announcement to ensure everyone knows NOT to feed your dog.

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Rule #3 – Say No to Guests Bringing Pets if Your Dog Doesn’t Like Other Animals

Most hosts try to be as accommodating as possible when friends and family travel for the holidays. Sometimes this means saying yes to a family bringing their cat/dog with them as they travel.

If your dog is friendly with animals, then by all means it’s ok to bring new animals into your home—as long as you introduce your pets safely and keep a watchful eye on how they interact.

However, if your dog doesn’t do well with other animals, it’s important to just say no to four legged house visitors.

The reason is simple: Your pets safety and wellness needs to be your first priority. Noone wants to deal with an injury (or even death) of a pet that could have been prevented.

Not to mention…it’s very stressful having to constantly separate animals and keep a watchful eye on them. It’s just not worth the risk and hassle.

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Rule #4 – Set Up Safety Precautions Around Home Decor

Twinkling lights and traditional poinsettia plants are beautiful household decorations. However, these decor items (and many others in your home) can put your pet at risk.

It’s important to set rules in your home about what types of decor you believe are safe according to your pups personality.

For example…

If you have a dog that chews things, poisonous plants and strings of Christmas lights would not be safe options. Instead, consider decorating areas of your home that are not accessible to your pet, such as your counter spaces of mantle place.

(Be aware: amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are among the most poisonous holiday house plants!)

If you do set out decor, always remember to unplug your lights, secure your Christmas tree, and remove breakable objects from where you pup can reach them in order to avoid an accident.

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Rule #5 – It’s Better to Be Safe Than Sorry

Yes…this may sound like a very vague rule. But I truly believe that when it comes to traveling, friends/family, food, decor, and everything else, it’s ALWAYS better to be safe than to be sorry.

In fact, I applaud all dog owners who go above and beyond to ensure their pets stay happy and healthy during the holidays—and all year long!

So what do I mean by this rule?

I simply mean that you should go with your gut instincts and do whatever it is that you need to do to ensure your pup is protected—whether it be limiting your decor or setting strict boundaries with friends and family members.

Much like a new parent of a baby would set rules for their child, you have every right to set rules for your furbaby—so don’t feel guilty about it! Even if you feel like you’re being a little over protective.

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Going the Extra Mile for Your Pet this Season

There’s a lot you can do to set your pup up for success during the holiday season. By far, the best thing you can do is to put a solid training foundation in place for your dog.

Doing so can help your pup safe in a variety of ways…such as mastering self-control so your dog doesn’t jump on the counter to eat your cookies or ensuring your dog stays relaxed and calm when new people enter your home.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your pooch this season, I want to recommend my program, The Dog Calming Code.

This program has helped me train over 37,000 dogs, and I guarantee it will help teach your pup how to calm down, relax, and listen when it matters most.

Check it out here!

Or, if you currently have a puppy, I suggest my Puppy Coach training program that is geared towards younger dogs.

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Here’s to a safe and happy season,

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

How Much Do You Love Your Dog Checklist

5 Key Areas of Canine Care that Must Not Be Neglected

I want to ask you a serious question…

When was the last time you thought about how much you love your dog?

I know that might sound like a weird question to ask as most of us truly believe we love our dogs. But, it’s an important question to contemplate.

Perhaps a better question is, “Do you know what it means to love your dog?”

Have I got you thinking?

Today I want to walk you through a kind of checklist that identifies 5 key areas all dog lovers need to look at while determining how well they love and care for their pups. After all, it’s our job as pup parents to give our dogs the “gift” of happiness and care in all five of the areas I’m about to dive into below.

Do you excel in all five areas? Or is there a category of care you need to work harder on?

Read my list to find out…

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Area #1: Give Your Dog the Gift of a Healthy, Balanced Diet

When it comes to things that dogs love, there are few things that dogs love more than food.

For this reason, it’s important to reflect on what you’re feeding your dog.

Now, this area of care isn’t intended to be a debate on what’s best to feed your dog. I know that is a complex and passionate place to go 🙂

So, I’m not asking whether your dog eats a raw diet or gets fed dry kibble.

But rather there are two things I want you to think about…the quality and variety of food you’re feeding your dog

If you’re buying the cheapest food off the store shelf, you’re possibly not purchasing a food formula that’s the healthiest for your pup. In fact, it may be doing damage to your dog or pup. And in the long run, you’ll be amazed how much worse your dog’s health is and how much more you spend at the vets!

For this reason, it’s important to read the label and ensure that the food you’re buying isn’t filled with loads of fillers (like corn) or preservatives. Some of these preservatives are terrible and are banned from any human food because they are known to be so bad for us.

Always look for more natural ingredients like chicken or lamb, and whole grains and veggies. If you can’t picture the food or pronounce the food in the ingredients then there is a good chance it’s not that great for your dog!

So take a minute and think…would it really break your bank to spend a few extra dollars on your dog’s food each month to ensure it’s a quality formula?

Next, I want to bring up variety. Is your dog eating the same thing every single day?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with a specific brand of dog food or a certain flavor. But, every once in a while it would be a treat for your dog to have the opportunity to try a different type of food so eating every night doesn’t get boring.

Not to mention, there’s no such thing as a completely balanced dog food brand. Think about it this way…what would happen if you only ate spaghetti for dinner every night? It wouldn’t be healthy!

The same is true for your dog’s food.

Providing your dog with variety, whether it be mixing in some veggies from time to time or trying a new variety of your dog’s favorite food, is important!

Sharing your table scraps with your dog is also a great way to let your pup know he is loved. Of course, always make sure that the scraps you’re sharing are safe and healthy and always avoid sharing things like chicken bones with your pup.

So don’t forget…always think quality and variety when feeding your dog!

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Area #2: Give Your Dog the Gift of Exercise

Dogs absolutely love walks, yet most dogs don’t get walked enough.

Of course, every dog varies with how much exercise he/she needs.

Some high energy dogs need to run and run. Other dogs can only handle a brief stroll around the neighborhood. Regardless, all dogs need a little outside time to stretch their legs and sniff the grass.

When it comes to walks, I encourage you to vary up your walking routine. After all, most dogs love to mix it up.

Change up your walking route so your pup doesn’t get bored. Or take your pup to a place where he can run off leash. Variety makes things fun for your pup! Maybe they want to go smell a certain area or venture somewhere different… give them that gift…it means to much to them 🙂

Whatever you do, it’s important to make sure your dog is getting outside every day, (so long as it’s not pouring with rain!)

So are you giving your dog this gift?

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Area #3: Give Your Dog the Gift of Affection

All dogs desire some form of affection.

In fact, many dogs love nothing more than being cuddled and pet all the time. And, if you have a dog that loves the attention, you need to make sure to give them that time.

Of course, it’s important to always give this affection on your own terms, otherwise, your dog might develop bad habits such as jumping or barking to get attention.

How do you find the balance?

I recommend you make time in the morning or the evening (whenever you’ve got some quiet time) to spend quality time with your pup. Grab a cup of tea, beer, a glass of wine and let your dog cuddle with you.

Or, get on the floor and give your dog some extra pats or scratches.

Just make sure that when you give affection you do it on your terms… so YOU decide when the cuddles start (by calling your dog over) and YOU decide when it stops by moving them away or walking away.

Basically, avoid letting your dog run all over you.

However, absolutely it’s great to sit and cuddle and connect with your dog for a full 2-hour movie…

You don’t have to do anything extravagant. Just make the time to love on your dog every day.

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Area #4: Give Your Dog the Gift of Safety, Comfort, and Good Health

How closely you pay attention to your dog’s physical needs?

For example, if you notice your dog itching have you checked him for fleas or a skin rash? If you have fleas then make sure you use a flea Bomb. Personally, I would avoid the highly toxic pour on agents that go into your dog’s blood and kidneys… (Most of the fleas remain in your house and in the dogs bedding anyway unless you use a flea bomb!)

If your dog has a limp, do you take him to the vet or do you wait it out to see if it gets better?

If you leave your dog outside, do you pay attention to the temperature to ensure your pup never gets overheated or too cold? Maybe they would love a shade cloth or plant a tree…if its really hot maybe a small plastic pool for your dog to splash around in would bring total joy to your dog.

Does your dog need a haircut because it’s hot outside or her hair has grown over her eyes and impacts her ability to see?

Remember your dog can’t talk. And there’s nothing worse than letting him remain uncomfortable in a situation you have control over.

If you notice your dog is itchy, has matted fur, or isn’t feeling well always make sure to take him to a vet or groomer ASAP before the problem gets worse.

If you know it’s going to be hot outside, make sure your dog has plenty of water, a shady spot to lay in, a pool to take a dip in or bring your pup inside until it cools down. The same goes for cold weather, except make sure your dog has a warm blanket, a sheltered space that’s out of the wind/snow, or bring your dog inside to warm up.

It’s that simple!

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Area #5: Find Out What Make Your Dog Jump for Joy

As humans, we all have things that make us really excited…whether it be visiting friends or watching a sport or enjoying a hobby.

Believe it or not, the same is true for your dog!

All dogs have something that makes them very excited.

For instance, if you have a husky, a trip to the snow might make him jump for joy.

If your dog loves to run and chase, a game of frisbee might be right up his alley.

Or, if your pup loves the water, a trip to the beach, lake, or stream might make her wag her tail with joy.

As a dog parent, it’s your job to figure out what makes your dog jump for joy. Then, once you know, be sure to incorporate those activities into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine.

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Area #6: Give Your Dog the Gift of Peace.

Last, but not least, I want to ask if you’ve given your dog the gift of peace.

I know that sounds like a funny thing to ask, but in today’s society, most dogs are so stressed.

Put another way, have you checked your dog’s mental health lately?

If your dog…

  • Runs around anxiously
  • Barks constantly
  • Pulls on the leash
  • Cries when you leave the house
  • Growls, nips, or bites
  • Jumps/goes crazy when people come over

…he is likely suffering from some sort of anxiety and can’t relax.

Over time, this stress builds up and can wreak havoc on your dog’s wellbeing.

The great news is it does not need to be this way…

You can easily provide your pup with proper training program, such as the Dog Calming Code program , or my Puppy Coach training program that will allow your dog or puppy to calm down and listen so he doesn’t have to stress out.

Or, if you currently have a puppy, my Puppy Coach training program will offer the same benefits in a way that’s better structured for young pups.

Getting your dog to calm down isn’t as simple as waving a magic wand. But, once you learn the how and why behind how to help your dog turn off, it’s actually quite easy.

I know because I’ve dedicated my entire life to training dogs to calm down and listen when it matters most. And I have put all my training methods into my program The Dog Calming Code.

If you’d like to learn how to give your dog the gift of peace, I encourage you to check out The Dog Calming Code program here.

And, of course, if you think this has been helpful or interesting be sure to share the list with other dog lovers in your life!

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Cheers,

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

Doggy Dan’s Ultimate Summer Holiday Safety Guide

By far one of the best things about summer is the parties!

From 4th of July firework shows to backyard BBQ and pool parties, there is no shortage of opportunities to get together with friends and family and celebrate everything this season has to offer.

For us humans, this time of year is a lot of fun. But, for our canine companions, it can be stressful and even dangerous.

Between having strange guests over, laying out large spreads of picnic foods, and shooting off loud fireworks there are many opportunities for your pup to end up scared or overwhelmed, or get himself into trouble while consuming foods he shouldn’t!

For that reason, I wanted to share some of my most popular blogs that share valuable information on how to keep your pup safe, calm, and happy during the summer season.

Check them out below…

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How to Help Your Dog Overcome the Fear of Fireworks

Dogs who are scared of fireworks–as well as thunder, gunshots, or other loud noises–is a topic that I am passionate about. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing animals in fear, especially dogs.

For those of you who own dogs with a true fear of loud noises, you may feel overwhelmed when challenging dog behaviours–such as peeing in the house, shaking, running away, or hiding under furniture–occur.

These sense of frustration, overwhelm, and the feeling of helplessness arises for two reasons…

You do not understand why your dog is behaving in such a way.
You can’t figure out what you need to do to help your dog.
Here’s the good news…

All the undesirable behaviors that come with a fear of loud noises are simply signs of a dog that is stressed. And these unwanted behaviors can be stopped without force, fear or aggression when you have the right tools to help your dog.

To ensure your dog is calm and relaxed this 4th July when the fireworks are going off, check out this article here that helps you tap into the psychology of why dogs get so scared so that you know where your dog is coming from.

Helping dogs with Fireworks…

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Safe Summer Dog Treats: The TOP 3 Dog Popsicle Recipes of ALL TIME!

Everyone loves indulging in a cold treat on a hot day—even your dog!

That being said, a lot of human treats, like…

Dairy-based ice cream
Sugar-laden popsicles
Artificially flavored slushies

…are not a healthy or safe option for your pup.

Not to mention, if your dog is obese, those fat and sugar-filled treats could contribute to major health issues for your pup.

So what kind of cool treat can you spoil your dog with this summer?

I personally recommend homemade dog popsicles.

Not only are they easy to make and cheap, but they are also safe and packed with nutritious ingredients that are actually good for your dog—in moderation of course!

(There is nothing like knowing EXACTLY what your dog is eating!)

Here are the top 3 dog popsicle recipes that I recommend…

Keep reading…

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Keep Your Party Guests Safe: Excited And Aggressive Dog Greetings

“So is my dog being aggressive or are they just excited?” This is the big question that many people are asking themselves, (and often me) as their dogs race up bounding and barking at dogs that they meet.

The answer is not simply one or the other, and in most cases, I would suggest it is a bit of both.

As I explain in this very popular podcast, the more excited your dog is the more chance that their behaviour may be interpreted as aggressive or threatening. And, so the calmer your dog is the better your chances of a calm encounter.

To understand this better and what to do about it Listen to the podcast here!

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15 Great Ideas To Keep Your Dog Cool In Hot Weather

Dogs are unable to speak English so they’re never actually going to shout out “Hey, can you turn the AC up!”

BUT… That doesn’t mean they don’t overheat, just like we humans do!

So if your dog is lethargic, panting and generally looking down – and it’s a stinking hot day – then it’s very possible that they are suffering in the heat.

Here are some super simple tips and ideas that you can put into play straight away to keep them cooler.

Keep reading…

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My #1 Secret to Successfully Training Over 37,000 Dogs

Finally, the best way to keep your dog safe and happy this summer is to ensure he has a solid training foundation?

Why?

Because when your dog is able to remain calm and listen to you, life becomes a lot less stressful on him–even in the midst of chaos!

The idea is that you want your dog to trust you and to look to you for guidance when he is struggling. When he does this, you can avoid many dangerous and unwanted behaviors, such as your dog…

  • Running off
  • Jumping
  • Biting
  • Barking
  • Chewing
  • Etc.

Want to know the secret to how I’ve trained over 37,000 dogs?

Check out how the Dog Calming Code works here!

(If you have a puppy, you might want to check out my Puppy Coach training program here instead!)

I wish you and your pup a happy, fun, and safe summer!

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Cheers,

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

3 Common Misconceptions About What Makes a Dog Aggressive

If you watch the news or read the paper, it’s likely that you’ve come across a story about someone getting attacked by a dog.

And I bet you that 9 out of 10 times, the dog in the story is some sort of large male dog—perhaps a specific breed, like a Pitbull or German Shepherd.

While I don’t doubt that these stories are true, the media seems to have a way of twisting around facts and creating misconceptions about why attacks like these occur. Even worse, these types of stories often stigmatized various dog breeds, dog sizes, gender, etc., with an unfair reputation.

As a dog trainer, I’ve worked with thousands of different types of dogs (check out how I’ve trained over 37,000 dogs here!), and I know that there are a lot more factors associated with dog aggression than the usual ones that keep coming up

So, today I wanted to talk about three of the biggest misconceptions about what makes a dog aggressive. Do you believe any of the following myths?

Keep reading to find out…

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Misconception #1 – Aggressive Dogs are Mostly Males

As humans, we tend to think of females as a gentler, more nurturing sex. On the flip side, males tend to be classified as the more dominant, rough and tumble gender and yet here are the stats that I recently found during a survey that we carried out.

In a simple Quiz we ran of almost 30,000 aggressive dogs and puppies, we found that 56% of those aggressive dogs were male and 44% were female.

Now before you draw the conclusion that males are more aggressive…This result means that out of 30,000 dogs, close to half of them were female. With all the other factors that go into the mix such as people buying male dogs specifically for status, protection, and being guard dogs there is clearly more to this issue than it being a male dog issue.

In fact, a study from Psychology Today looked at male dog vs. female dog aggression and proved flat out that the idea that male dogs are more aggressive (despite testosterone levels) is not accurate at all.

Here’s a snippet from the study that explains why…

Science does not find that the issue of sex differences in aggression is simple and always predictable when it comes to dogs. Evidence suggesting that male dogs are more aggressive is consistent with the fact that aggressive behavior can be triggered by testosterone, the principal male sex hormone.

In dog versus dog aggression, it is true that male dogs do posture, threaten and challenge each other more than females, though this is largely ritualized display aimed at establishing social rankings. While it can be disturbing and embarrassing to the respective owners, serious injuries to the dogs are rare.

Female dogs threaten less frequently, but overall are more independent, stubborn, and territorial than their male counterparts.

The females are actually much more intent upon exercising their dominance and while males can forgive an occasional transgression of canine protocol or a failure to recognize their status, females do not.

This explains why actual fights are more likely to break out between two females and these often occur without much advance warning. These fights between females are more of a “no holds barred” affair rather than the male ritualistic fighting that includes snapping at the air in front of the opponent or using inhibited bites to threaten rather than to maim.”

In a nutshell, both male and female dogs have the potential to become aggressive, as the results from our survey showed.

It’s clear that aggression is much bigger than just a male dog issue.

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Misconception #2 – Large Dogs Are The Most Aggressive Dogs

The second misconception is that large dogs are more aggressive than small dogs.

The main reason this is, is because when a large dog attacks, they tend to do more damage (biting, scratching, etc.) than a small dog.

Because of this, attacks via large dogs that lead to severe injuries or even death are publicized more than smaller dog attacks that might only result in bruising or a few stitches.

See how easy it is for our perceptions to be skewed?

What might be even more shocking to you is the suggestion that smaller dogs actually tend to be more aggressive than larger ones.

In fact, a study from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna surveyed 1,276 dog owners who owned dogs of various sizes and discovered that overall…

  • Small dogs were less obedient (for example, they are not as reliable in responding to common commands like “Sit,” “Down,” and “Come”).
  • Small dogs were more excitable and pugnacious (more likely to bark or growl at strangers, visitors, or other dogs).
  • Small dogs were more anxious and fearful (easily spooked in strange situations, or when exposed to loud noises like thunder and fireworks, and nervous in the presence of strangers).

Now, of course, all of these things could have something to do with the training that these little dogs received. However, it’s also true that all three of these factors can easily trigger aggression.

Personally, I haven’t come to any decision about the size of a dog and them being aggressive… I see it very much like people, there is not much correlation with aggression and a person’s size…As far as I am aware there are just as many aggressive big people as small!

When it comes to dogs, the good news…

With proper training these behavioral issues can be curbed, leaving you with a calm and relaxed pup—regardless of your dog’s size.

So if you have a dog that is struggling with any of the issues listed above, I highly recommend you check out this post about my program, The Dog Calming Code.

This program provides kind, gentle, and effective solutions for resolving behavioral issues that might lead your dog to act aggressively.

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Misconception #3 – Breed Determines How Aggressive a Dog May Be

Last, but not least, the BIGGEST misconception is that your dog’s breed determines how aggressive a dog will be.

Once again, this idea is falsely skewed based on stereotypes and a lack of information provided about a dogs background.

The breed is like the race of a person. There are calm, gentle and aggressive, violent people in every race. Think about it, can you really generalize an entire population of people? English, American, French, Italian, Egyptian, Chinese. There are so many variations within every nationality and so it is with the dog breeds.

For example, one of the most stereotyped breeds of dogs is the Pitbull. It’s assumed that this breed is aggressive and—to be fair—of course, there are cases out there that deal with injuries and even deaths related to PitBull attacks.

But here’s what the media isn’t always telling you…

Many of these attacks occur because this breed is often purposely treated poorly and are sometimes trained to fight and be aggressive.

The dog’s behavior has very little to do with the breed itself, and so much more about the way the owner treats the dog.

Take the same dog that was trained for dog fighting and put him in a different loving, nurturing environment as a puppy, and he’d be a totally different animal.

Not convinced? Here’s some enlightening information from a study conducted by Rachel Casey, a researcher at the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences…

“Casey sent out 15,000 questionnaires to dog owners. About 4,000 people sent them back. Analyzing their responses, Casey found that certain traits of an owner said more about a dog’s aggression than the dog’s breed could.

For example, dogs with owners under 25 were almost twice as likely to be aggressive than dogs with owners over forty. Unsurprisingly, dogs who attended puppy-training classes were half as likely to be aggressive to strangers.

Owners who trained their dogs using punishment and negative reinforcement wound up with twice as likely to be aggressive towards strangers, and three times as likely to lunge at family members.

“These data suggest that although general characteristics of dogs and owners may be a factor at population level, it would be inappropriate to make assumptions about an individual animal’s risk of aggression to people based on characteristics such as breed,” the researchers write.

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What Actually Causes Dog Aggression…

We’ve just debunked some of the biggest misconceptions surrounding what makes a dog aggressive.

Now that we know it’s not breed, size, etc., that makes a dog aggressive.

So what is it?

Well, I want to leave you with a quick summary of what I believe to be the 3 biggest factors that lead to aggressive canine behavior.

Factor #1 – Lack of Guidance

Dog’s need guidance in order to learn what behavior is acceptable and what’s not going to be tolerated. This is especially true around other dogs.

This guidance should be given in the form of training as a puppy ideally—training that should continue to be carried out through the dog’s entire life.

However, even if you have missed out on this opportunity you can still implement it at a later stage when your dog is older. Ensuring that they know you are in charge is a crucial part of dog ownership, from this position you can gently guide them and show them the way.

To do so check out my foundation program: THE DOG CALMING CODE

(If you have a puppy, my Puppy Coach training program might be a better fit for you!)

Factor #2 – Lack of Boundaries

Dogs need boundaries.

Without these boundaries, it’s easy for dogs to become anxious and overwhelmed—behavioral characteristics that often lead to aggressive outbreaks.

Furthermore, it’s vital that the boundaries you put in place teach your dog that you are the provider or leader.

Once these boundaries are established, it’s much easier for your dog to follow your lead, listen to your direction, and not feel like he/she has to be in control.

Factor #3 – Lack of exercise and stimulation

Finally, pent up energy and a lack of stimulation can easily lead a dog to become aggressive.

After all, if your dog has no outlet to release his tension, all the energy can build up, causing him to behave in ways he normally wouldn’t.

Don’t let excess energy cause your pup to become frustrated and aggressive. Make sure you provide him with at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.

Do you need help with your dog’s aggressive behavioral issues?

If so, I invite you to check out my foundation program: THE DOG CALMING CODE

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Cheers,

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

The Pros and Cons of Puppy Training Classes

You’ve just brought home your adorable new puppy, and what happens?…

He pees on your carpet…

And starts chewing on your shoes.

Time for puppy training classes?

My answer is maybe—

All dogs need some form of training in order to live happy, relaxed lives, but is Puppy School really the best answer?

There are lots of pros and cons to enrolling you pup in a puppy training class right away but there are also some very important topics that puppy class may not address…

So what are the pros and cons? Let’s take a look…

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The Cons of Puppy Training Classes

While sending your pup to “school” might sound like a responsible thing to do, there are drawbacks to some puppy training classes.

Here’s what you need to be careful about…

Con #1 – One-Time Fix Gimmick

It’s so common and easy for people to think that because they went to puppy school they will have a great dog! But, that is like thinking that because you take your kid to kindergarten for 4 weeks that he/she will be a great adult!

There is much more to dog training than completing a four week puppy training course.

Not to mention, most serious canine behavioral issues do not occur till later on in life so you are unable to address them during puppy school.

The truth is that in order for a puppy training class to be effective, is has to put a solid foundation in place that’s designed to prevent issues down the road. Unfortunately in my experience and having chatted to hundreds of puppy owners, it seems many classes struggle to provide this—as there is more focus on the promotion of dog food, vaccinations, worming, and other such items leaving little time for understanding the behavioral side of things.

If you’re unsure of what kind of foundation your puppy needs, I suggest you get started with my Puppy Coach training program.

Con #2 – Emphasis On Food Only Training

Many puppy training classes use things like clickers or food as their primary training method. Whilst I have nothing against food, treats, cheese or chicken I think it’s important for new puppy owners to understand that there is more to training that just the click and treat sequence.

While these items can certainly be helpful aids, it’s not a good idea to rely on them 100% in order to get your puppy to listen to you. The reason being is that it works for dogs who are totally food motivated and interested in little else, not easy going pups and often works only when the pups are young. However long term, there needs to be a more substantial strategy.

It’s no different to raising kids—if all it took was a bag full of lollies then every parent would be laughing. However as we all know, it’s not as simple as a lolly every time your child does something good. Eventually the lollies have to come to an end…and then what?

Con #3 – Some Classes Have a Bad Mix of Puppies

First, let me remind you that in my opinion there is NO such thing as a bad dog.

Now that that’s clear, it’s important to understand that there IS such a thing as a bad mix of puppies in a puppy class!

Let me clarify…

Dogs are much like kids in a sense. So, think about a kindergarten classroom. There’s often a shy kid, a hyper kid, a bully, a brown noser, a kid who eats the glue and hopefully a bunch of chilled out balanced kids.

And with all those personalities things can become distracting in a room, especially if you have more than one of the extreme personalities.

For example, any kid—even the most well-behaved child—is probably going to have a hard time focusing when the hyper kid in the room is climbing up the walls and throwing their toys. Put 3 hyperactive kids altogether and things can get really busy!

The same goes for dogs.

You can’t pick what other pups will be put in the same puppy class as you. And, depending on the size of the class (some schools allow up to 15 puppies) it can be a nightmare to get your dog to relax, focus, and listen.

When you get a confident 16 week old German Shepherd and a fearful 12 week old small breed dog in the same class you really need to know what you are doing to avoid scaring the smaller pup. If you have a very skilled person running the class it can all work out well, however there is the risk that the person in charge is not aware of the pitfalls and a puppy gets scared.

This is important to think about as you’re considering which puppy class to enroll your pup in. Do the people running them have the skills to balance out all the energy present… (And we haven’t even started talking about the owners who turn up!)

Con #4 – Puppy Classes Are Often Held in Confined Areas

It’s important that a training class has a safe, dedicated area for hosting training classes.

That being said, it’s equally as important to ensure that the space has ample room for your puppy to meander about in as you train.

Sadly, many box store training programs gate off a small section of space to host training classes. When you have 5-10 pups in a room, there’s often not nearly enough space for those puppies to focus and learn anything.

If you’re signing your puppy up for a training class, I recommend that you look for…

  • A facility that is entirely dedicated to training or one that has the space.
  • For older puppies, a program that uses a park (not necessarily a busy dog park) or large outdoor area so there’s space for your pup to roam and relax.
  • A class that talks about understanding the mix of puppies that turn up and if they are going to get on.
  • An understanding of how many puppies will be present.
  • If the puppies are going to be allowed off leash and how it will be managed.

Con #5 – Potential to Contract Illnesses from Unvaccinated Puppies

Puppies are susceptible to many devastating illnesses due to weakened immune systems.

This is why vets recommend that puppies get put on a vaccination schedule and that they should be kept away from other puppies until they’ve received all their shots.

Unfortunately, there are some uneducated pet owners that don’t understand the importance of vaccines. And, if your puppy comes in contact with another sick puppy, you could have a lot of unexpected vet bills on your hand.

Regardless of whether you vaccinate or not, you need to think carefully about where your puppy goes when they are young and vulnerable.

Sometimes the worst place to take a young puppy is the dog park because that’s where the highest rate of all sorts of dog pee and poop is. By default, some of those dogs will have been vaccinated and others will not have…

So before rushing off to the nearest park for your puppy training have a think about the risk of infection.

And in the meantime, only socialize your pup with other dogs that you know have had their shots.

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The Pros of Puppy Training Classes

While there are certainly concerns about putting your pup in puppy training classes, there are also many positives to giving a class a try.

Here are a few pros…

Pro #1 – Puppy Socialization

It is extremely important to socialize a puppy.

The reason: failure to properly socialize your dog when he’s young can lead to aggression issues or skittish tendencies toward other dogs in the future.

Sure, you can socialize your pup anywhere. But, what better place to socialize than in a setting with a group of playful pups just like your own?

Not only is this type of setting generally less intimidating for your pup when it’s done well, but puppies typically have plenty of energy for running around and playing. So it’s a win-win for everyone!

Pro #2 – Puppy Parent Education

You might think puppy training classes are designed to train your dog. And, you’d be half right!

However, puppy training classes can also include training for puppy parents on important topics such as…

  • Worming
  • Flea/tick prevention
  • Feeding
  • Food education etc.

If you’re a new puppy parent—or it’s been a long time since you owned a dog—this type of educational training is invaluable, provided it’s done in a balanced way.

Pro #3 – Teach Your Puppy Basic Commands

Properly training your dog is so much more than simply teaching him basic commands like “sit” and “stay.”

That being said, it is still important that your dog knows how to follow basic commands.

A puppy training class is a great place to learn how to teach your dog the most basic skills, such as sitting on command.

WARNING!!!
(This type of basic training IS NOT a foundation for you to be able to teach your pup to listen to you and follow your lead long term.)

Pro #4 – Meet Your Local Vet

Did you know that a lot of vet practices also offer puppy training resources?

If you can find a class offered through a vet in your town, it presents the perfect opportunity for you to get connected with someone who can not only help you with training but with the care and expertise, your pup needs to live a long, healthy life.

I advise you to call around to local clinics in your area to see if they offer any training programs before you sign up for a class through a big box pet store.

Pro #5 – Make Connections with Other Dog Lovers

Having a community of other pet parents is a wonderful thing.

In fact, making connections with other dog lovers provides you with a community of people who can…

  • Support you if you’re having an issue with your puppy.
  • Provide you with company for doggy play dates or hikes.
  • Exchange services such as dog sitting.

Your pup ends up with new friends and so do you—a win-win for everyone!

Pro #6 – Puppy Training Classes Are Cost Effective

If you’re looking to learn the basics, group puppy training classes can be much more affordable than hiring a private trainer to come to your home.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t still seek private training opportunities—especially if your pup has some behavioral issues.

But, to get yourself started and to help your puppy learn some basic training skills, enrolling in a puppy training class is both easy and affordable.

You’ve heard the pros and cons…now it’s up to YOU whether you think a puppy training class will be beneficial for your pup or not.

If you do decide to find a class, there are a few recommendations I have regarding what type of puppy or dog trainer you should look for.

To discover what I recommend, I invite you to download my FREE guide, [thrive_2step id=’12069′]5 Key Things to Ask a Dog Trainer Before You Enroll in a Training Program.[/thrive_2step]

[thrive_2step id=’12069′]Download the FREE Guide Now![/thrive_2step]

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And, if you’re in the market for a more extensive training program that will work for your dog long past puppyhood, I recommend you give The Dog Calming Code program a try.

This program is designed to not only set a solid foundation for your dog, but to help you with any other type of behavioral issue that might pop up down the road.

Check out The Dog Calming Code here!

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Cheers,

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

Food Aggression: Why Some Dogs Feel the Need to Aggressively Protect Their Dinner

Food aggression is a dangerous behavioral issue that often results in accidental injuries to both humans and other household pets.

The worst part…

While this type of behavioral issue is often found in dogs who have been rescued from neglectful situations, the behavior also pops up frequently in dogs who don’t have a proper training foundation.

So, what causes food aggression and what can you do to ensure your pup doesn’t develop this dangerous behavior?

Keep reading to find out…

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What Is Food Aggression?

Food aggression is simply the act of a dog aggressively lashing out toward a human or another animal when food is present.

The behavioral aspects of food aggression may include…

  • Growling if you/an animal gets too close to your dog’s food bowl.
  • Stalking you for food.
  • Biting, attacking, or lashing out at humans/other animals who come between your dog and his food.
  • Guarding food even when they are not eating it.

There are varying levels of food aggression behavioral issues—from growling to biting—but all should be taken seriously.

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Why Dogs Have Food Aggression

Often serious food aggression is found in dogs who have been rescued from neglectful situations.

The reason: dogs who have been neglected have to fight to survive.

Sadly, when a “fight or die” instinct has been triggered, a dog will do almost anything to ensure he doesn’t lose out on his next meal.

You can’t blame the dog for this.

If you and your family were starving and a loaf of bread was to suddenly appear on the street in the midst of several other hungry families, I’m sure you’d do your best to grab the bread and fight off others who were trying to take it from you.

However, another very common but least understood reason a dog might be aggressive towards food is that he believes he is the boss and in charge.

The more your dog thinks that he is in charge, the more he will feel like he controls the food. Often eating before everyone else, including you!

This behavior comes from nature when dogs were wilder in packs and still exists in the wolf pack to this day. The wolves that are the strongest determine who eats what and when—usually eating first and or feeding their young.

Being a dog person, I always find it amusing when I see humans at the dinner table serving any ‘visitors’ first. This is because they are the ‘important people’ and so the person in charge of the food decides to feed them first!

If your dog has this mentality that ‘they are in charge’ there’s a good chance that he won’t take kindly toward someone potentially taking some of his food away or getting in the way of his eating!

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How to Put an End to Dangerous Food Aggression Behaviors

Food aggression is a very serious issue that must be addressed in your home—especially if you have small children or other pets.

Here are a few ways you can help your dog relax when it comes to food so he doesn’t feel the need to vigorously protect his meals

Technique #1- Stick to a Feeding Schedule

Believe it or not, a routine is important for dogs.

This is especially true if you have a dog that’s recently come out of a neglectful situation.

Dogs are incredibly smart, so they are able to key in on patterns.

For example, most dogs have a general idea of when it’s time to go out in the morning, when it’s walk time, and when their owners will be coming home from work every day.

It’s almost like a sixth sense.

For that reason, it’s no surprise that your dog will also key into breakfast and dinner time routines if you keep them on schedule.

Pick a time every day to feed your pup and stay consistent.

Doing so and sticking to a routine will help your pup get rid of some anxiety toward mealtimes.

I once worked at a doggy daycare with a huge pack of dogs. One day a dog named ‘Demo’ whom I loved very much turned up out of sorts and I couldn’t work out why. He had no energy and seemed very grumpy, in the afternoon he got into a fight. When his owners picked him up I asked them if anything different had happened to him. They replied… ‘Oh, we forgot to feed him this morning!’

I am sure this was a contributing factor! In our family, when we are hungry and become angry we call it “hangry.” And I believe it’s the same with dogs…A dog with a full belly is a happy dog!

Technique #2 – Supplement Your Dog’s Diet throughout the Day

It’s very important to monitor how much your dog eats every day so he doesn’t gain too much weight.

That being said, if your dog has stress-or anxiety-related food aggression issues, supplementing his meals so he knows he will be continually fed might help.

The logic behind this is simple…

You keep your dog’s belly full so he doesn’t stress about food. At the same time, your dog will learn to look to you for food and will associate you with food in a positive way.

In order to do this in a healthy way, I recommend you break your dog’s normal-sized breakfast and dinner into 4-6 smaller meals. The other trick you can use if you use dry food is to soak it overnight so it swells to a much larger volume. This gives your dog the perception that there is a lot more food being offered and they feel fuller.

Doing this will ensure you are able to feed your pup multiple times a day without overfeeding him. The food you give your dog or puppy could also simply be rewards that you give them during training throughout the day.

Once your dog gets comfortable and understands you’ll provide food for him every day, you can cut back on the number of mini meals you give him and get back on to a normal feeding schedule.

Technique #3 – Training the sit and wait command

Training your dog or puppy to sit and wait for their food calms their mind and their body.

Here’s a short video showing you how you can do this with younger puppies. It’s taken from inside ‘Project Moses’ the video diary of my puppy Moses when he was 14 weeks of age.

Technique #4 – Avoid leaving food down

One of the biggest mistakes that I see is people leaving dogs food down. There are a number of reasons that this is not a good idea.

First, leaving food down attracts flies and other unwanted animals and pests, never mind the smell that can be produced in warmer weather!

Second, dogs digestive systems are not designed like grazing animals such as cows who eat slowly all day long. Rather they are animals who eat much larger meals quickly a couple of times each day. (Pups can often eat up to 4 or 5 times a day when very young)

Third, by leaving food down, which your dog is not eating, you give your dog the wrong message. You tell your dog that they are in charge. This produces a dog who is far more likely to make their own decisions, ignore you and even tell you off if they don’t agree with you…so watch out!

If your dog is not eating the food, pick it up.

Technique #5 – Establish yourself as the provider

This final technique is the most important—establishing yourself as the one in charge and the provider. This part is crucial as dogs who think they are in charge are always going to try to control the food in unpredictable ways…

As we talked about earlier, many dogs have food aggression issues simply because they believe they are the “pack leaders” or put another way, the ones in charge.

If a dog has this mindset, it’s more likely they’ll get cranky and lash out if they think someone is trying to steal his meal.

The good news…

It’s easy to establish yourself as the leader in a kind, gentle way. It simply just takes a little time and patience.

One of the easiest ways to reassure your dog that you are the provider is to always eat your meals first before you feed your dog.

You can even eat a little bit of your food over your dog’s food bowl to show him you’re the one that gets to eat first—you’re the one in charge.

It might feel silly, but your dog will understand the point you are making.

Making sure your dog understands that you are the provider isn’t usually that hard. It just takes some understanding and patience. Once you get this bit in place, everything else falls into place…

It’s something I’ve helped tens of thousands of people establish with their dogs and it’s what I am totally passionate about because it changes the whole relationship you have with your dog for the better.

If you’re interested in finding out more, check out The Dog Calming Code.

In this program, I’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to establish yourself as the one in charge or the decision maker. The knock on effect of this is that your dog will relax and focus on you so much more resulting in a more responsive dog who is easier to train!

Or, if you currently have a puppy, you can begin setting a solid foundation with my Puppy Coach training program.

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Next Steps to Helping Resolve Your Dog’s Food Aggression Issues

Food aggression is a very serious issue that can result in serious injury to other dogs and people.

If your dog exhibits any signs of food aggression, be sure to…

1. Put a comprehensive training program in place—like The Dog Calming Code.
2. Keep kids and other pets away from your dog while he eats.
3. Ensure your dog feels safe while eating meals.

How do you help your dog feel safe while eating?

I’ve put together a [thrive_2step id=’11938′]FREE guide[/thrive_2step] on 3 ways you can help your dog feel safe during mealtimes.

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↓Download the FREE guide here!↓

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Best wishes as you work with your pup.

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Cheers,

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

Should I Get Rid of My Dog? What to Do If Your Dog Bites

Dogs—while they are amazing, beautiful, wonderful creatures—are animals.

And, anytime you’re spending time with an animal, there’s the potential for something to go wrong.

Thankfully, over decades and decades of breeding and training, our pups have become so domesticated that they are mostly lovers, not fighters.

However, there are many factors such as…

  • Age
  • Training level
  • Anxiety
  • Past experiences
  • DNA
  • Health and well-being
  • Fears and triggers

…that might cause a dog to break character, lash out, and bite.

That leads us to the age-old question—what do you do if your dog bites you or someone else?

I’m going to answer that question. However, before I give my full opinion, it’s important that we talk about why dogs bite and dog safety.

Let’s jump in…

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Why Do Dogs Bite People?

Dogs are supposed to be delightful family members. In fact, for years. most of them have been bred to exhibit family-friendly personality traits.

That being said, there are several factors that can contribute to a dog taking on unusually aggressive traits. Here’s an overview of a few of the main ones…

#1 Poor Socialization

Sadly, one of the biggest reasons dogs become aggressive is due to poor socialization.

While I know you would never abuse your dog, it’s possible that, if you’ve rescued a pup, he may have had a difficult past.

In fact, a lot of rescue animals have had a tough start to life…

  • Some have been beaten.
  • Many have gone hungry.
  • Some may have even been used as fighting or guard dogs.

However, many more have simply been neglected and have not been provided with the socialization they need with people.

I don’t say this to scare you away from adopting a rescue.

Most rescue pups are delightful animals who become wonderful family members. But, some dogs will need patience and time to build confidence.

That being said, it’s important to see if you can get info on a dog’s history to make sure he will be a good fit for your family.

These pups who need socialization need time and patience to familiarize themselves with all of the strange things that we understand…

Things such as umbrellas, big loud voices, funny looks hats, little kids who run around all day, and everything else that we take for granted!

Given that time to adjust, they can become the most loyal of dogs, just like any other.

#2 Old Age

The older people get, the less nonsense they seem to tolerate. The same can be true with dogs.

It’s possible that you’ve owned a dog for a really long time—a dog who has been tolerant of loud noises, busy households, and kids. Then, suddenly, your dog snaps without warning.

As dogs get older, some naturally tend to become grumpier.

If you want to build in tolerance so your dog remains a more chilled-out dog and less stressed, then check out my program The Dog Calming Code — which will do just that.

(Or, if you have a puppy you can start building a solid foundation now to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place with my Puppy Coach training program.)

And, if you already have an older, grumpy dog, it’s essential that you keep an eye on kids or strangers who spend time around your pup to make sure they don’t try to wind him up.

#3 Sickness

When dogs are sick or in pain, they often want to be left alone.

And, if they are bothered, they may resort to biting as an attempt to protect themselves.

If your friendly dog suddenly becomes aggressive, a trip to the vet might be in order.

#4 Poor Training

If a dog has never been trained NOT to bite as a puppy, there’s a good chance that he will continue to bite as an adult.

This is why investing in dog training is so important.

Finding a comprehensive training program that helps you put an end to any mouthing of you or your clothing at an early age is very important. My suggestion is that all mouthing should stop around 16 weeks of age.

If you currently have a puppy at home, I encourage you to get started with my Puppy Coach training program right away!

#5 Human Error

While all 4 reasons we’ve discussed so far are true reasons why dogs bite, the biggest reason has to be human error.

You see, most dogs have no desire to bite until they are provoked.

Sometimes dogs give us warning signs that they are annoyed. For example, if a little kid is pulling on a dog’s tail, a dog may snarl as a warning.

Other times, it’s not as easy to tell.

For example, a mama dog might be protecting puppies that you’re not aware of.

This is one of those tricky examples of a time when a dog might bite in regards to fear, rather than aggression.

Anytime you’re around a dog, it’s important to pay attention to body language.

Understanding what a dog is communicating with his tail, heckles, teeth, and body stance is a good way to prevent being bitten by accident.

#6 Overexcited

Dogs, like people, can easily become overexcited.

Maybe your dog gets over excited when he is chasing a ball, barking at the fence, or when food is about to be served.

Sometimes, when people get excited and when our adrenaline is pumping, we do or say things that we regret.

Dogs are no different!

So, the calmer your dog can remain, the less of a chance there is of your dog accidentally snapping!

If you are struggling with an overexcited dog, then again my program The Dog Calming Code is undoubtedly going to help.

#7 Protecting and Fear

The biggest reason of all that dogs bite is that they are protecting something or they are fearful of something.

Our world can be a strange place for dogs and much of what goes on they do NOT understand.

Is the UPS guy delivering flowers welcome or not? How can your dog know…

So, a lot of what will help your dog is showing him that you have got it all under control and are in fact in charge.

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My Dog Bit Someone…Now What?

Now that we’ve covered the reasons that dogs bite, it’s time to answer the age-old question…what do I do now?

Before I begin, I want to make it clear that every dog and every situation that led up to a dog biting is different.

As a dog owner, it’s your job to determine the best course of action as to what needs to happen to keep yourself and your friends/family safe.

That being said, here are my thoughts…

“Inside every dog is a Good Dog”

First and foremost, I believe that almost all dogs—regardless of their history—have the potential to be good dogs. They may never be the most friendly and interactive dogs. However, they certainly can be trained not to be seriously aggressive to people without provocation.

And so, while biting is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly, there are things you can do to correct the behavior.

If your dog has bitten someone, your first step should be to hire a professional dog trainer or find some appropriate training.

An experienced dog handler may be able to help you uncover the reason behind why your dog became aggressive and can help you put training in place to ensure it never happens again.

Without training, the issue will not get better. So please take things seriously and get help sooner rather than later for the sake of both you and your dog.

At the same time, I would fully recommend you check out The Dog Calming Code because this is what I share with every single client that I work with and it’s been remarkably successful.

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Always Err on the Side of Caution and Safety

No matter how great your dog is, biting should always be taken seriously.

After all, if your dog has bitten once, he has the potential to do it again.

While you’re getting the help you need in terms of training, there are a few safety precautions I advise you put in place to keep everyone safe—especially if you have kids or other people who come in and out of your home.

This is what I recommend…

  1. Use a humane muzzle: Muzzles are a great tool that can be used to keep people and other pets safe from a dog who bites. To see what humane muzzles I recommend, click here to check out my guide to muzzles.
  2. Use a short leash: When taking your dog for a walk or anywhere in public, ensure he is kept on a short leash so he can’t get too close to people. If in doubt simply turn and walk away.
  3. Use a crate: If you have people coming to your home to visit, crate your pup. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. There is no need to have your pup or dog running around just because there are friends over.

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Be Prepared to Put Your Dog’s Needs before Your Own

After a dog bites someone, it’s possible that tough decisions may have to be made about your pup.

While I believe it’s important to try to keep training your dog in your own home, you may also feel the need to consider the following…

I personally am a huge fan of ‘No Kill Shelters’, shelters that are based on the belief that all dogs can be saved with the correct set up in place such as https://bestfriends.org/

  1. Rehoming your dog: I hate the idea of having to rehome dogs. However, there are some circumstances in which it might be necessary—and even beneficial—for your dog. For example, if your dog hates noise and you have 3 screaming kids under the age of 5, then it may not be the ideal match. If you must consider rehoming your dog, do your best to find a close friend or family member who can help instead of dumping your dog at a shelter. That way, you can always visit and lend a hand.
  2. Putting Your Dog Down: Before putting your dog down, I can’t encourage you enough to give my Dog Calming Code program a try. With a 60-day money-back guarantee, I really don’t mind if you check it out and then decide it was not for you if it doesn’t work out. That said, if your dog really has become aggressive due to illness or old age, biting might be a sign that he can no longer deal with the pain and stress of life anymore. Although this is very rare, I personally would only consider this to be the situation if a vet believes it to be the right thing to do due to a physical issue. While it’s never easy to say goodbye, we have the ability to give our dogs the gift of a peaceful passing.

If you’re struggling with a challenging dog, it’s important to know you’re not alone.

Dogs are amazing animals, but they require a lot of love, training, and patience to reach their full potential.

If you’re considering giving your dog away, I want to encourage you to put that thought on hold and, instead, download a FREE copy of my guide [thrive_2step id=’11661′]5 Things You Can Do Today to Make Dog Ownership Easier. [/thrive_2step]

[thrive_2step id=’11661′]Get your FREE guide here![/thrive_2step]

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Follow through on the recommendations I provide in my guide, and I assure you things with your dog will get better.

Here’s to many safe, happy, and healthy years with your dog.

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Cheers,

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

ScritchSpot: The Must-Have App Doggy Dan Recommends for All Dog Owners

If you enjoy technology, there’s a good chance you have a variety of apps on your computer, phone, or tablet.

And, if you love dogs, it’s likely that a handful of those apps have to do with dog care.

I myself even have a few dog-related apps I use from time to time that are related to canine care and services. Not to mention, I have my own app, The Online Dog Trainer, that you may already be familiar with or have installed on your device.

So…with all these other apps readily available, you may be wondering why I’m promoting yet another dog-based app called ScritchSpot.

The reason is twofold…

Without further ado, let explain why I believe all dog owners should download the ScritchSpot app to use as a tool to provide the best care and training for their dogs.

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Why I Proudly Endorse the ScritchSpot App

As a dog lover and dog trainer, I think it’s vital that all dog parents have access to the resources and tools they need to ensure the safety and well-being of their pups.

Thankfully, there are a lot of free resources available to dog lovers online.

The bad news: not all of the resources are created equal!

Not all…

  • Are easy to use.
  • Provide kind and gentle training advice.
  • Are backed by quality dog trainers and organisations.
  • Share useful information.
  • Can be customized based on your unique needs.

For that reason, it can be really difficult to decipher which apps you should be using or, more importantly, what information you can trust.

When ScritchSpot first reached out to me about becoming their new professional dog trainer spokesperson (we’ll dive into this in a minute), I had to do my homework to uncover what this app was all about.

Upon reviewing the app, I was amazed at not only the functionality, but also the philosophy behind the app.

I was thrilled to learn that the company reached out to me because they believe in my kind, gentle training methods and want to share them with dog lovers around the world.

So, there you have it. The app provides the best of both worlds…kind training advice and valuable tools for finding pet products, pet care, and more (more on this in a bit).

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I Am Honored to Endorse ScritchSpot

Before we move on to all the amazing benefits of ScritchSpot, I wanted to take a moment to express how honored I am to support such an app.

Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I’m not the type of person to slap my face on a product for the sake of a buck.

I truly care about the resources my followers use and, therefore, make it a priority to ensure anything I recommend to my clients or those of you online is of the highest value and quality.

As mentioned above, I sincerely believe ScritchSpot is a valuable app, which makes it incredibly humbling that I would be selected as their dog trainer of choice to endorse such a wonderful tool.

I am honored that I will be able to continue to help spread quality information on safe, gentle, and effective dog training methods with people across the globe.

Now that that’s been said, let’s move on to the exciting part…how ScritchSpot will benefit you and your dog!

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ScritchSpot Benefits: Why You Should Download the App Today

Why download another app?

Easy. Because the ScritchSpot app has everything you need all in one place.

Check out what all is included and how these features will benefit you…

In the picture above, you’ll see the 8 awesome features that the ScritchSpot app provides.

Feature #1 – Nearby Pet-Friendly Map

This map provides the location of pet friendly parks, restaurants, stores, hotels, and more in your local area. No more second-guessing whether you can bring your dog along on vacation or out to the store. Simply check the pet map.

Feature #2 – Adopt the Perfect Pet

I am a huge supporter of dog rescue and adoption, so I’m thrilled that this app promotes adoption as well. You can use this nifty tool to take a quiz to see what type of dog is the right choice for your home.

Feature #3 – Pet Parent Community

There’s nothing better than building a network of fellow dog lovers. Connect with other dog owners in your area and share images and messages in the pet parent community.

Feature #4 – Save & Share Pet Records

Tired of keeping folders full of old records for your pup? Use this feature to safely store any paperwork regarding your pup—from vet records to boarding stays. If someone needs your dog’s records, share them quickly and easily with the press of a button.

Feature #5 – Find a Pet Sitter or Walker

If you travel and/or work outside of your home, it’s likely that you need help caring for your pet while you’re away. The pet sitter/walker features allow you to browse local dog caregivers in your area so you can find quality care near your home.

*Please note that this feature is only available to those who live in the United States and Canada.*

Feature #6 – Pet Product Reviews

Is your dog food safe? Are any treats being recalled? Or, how tough is that chew toy you want to purchase for your pup? Find out using the pet product reviews feature on the ScritchSpot app.

Feature #7 – New Pet Guide

Bringing a new dog into your home might feel a little overwhelming at first. For tips and tricks on how to help your new pup make a smooth transition, check out the new pet guide.

Feature #8 – Dog Training

This final feature is my absolute favorite because it’s where I’ll be sharing information regarding my dog training methods via blog posts, podcasts, YouTube videos, and more!

Use these resources, and I have no doubt that you’ll be able to build a solid training foundation for your pup that combats common dog behavioral issues such as…

  • Barking.
  • Aggression.
  • Leash pulling.
  • Recall.
  • Separation anxiety.
  • Puppy training.
  • And more!

Download the app now to start getting all of this awesome information!

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ScritchSpot for Cat Lovers

I’m a dog person through and through. But, it’s important to mention that the app hosts content for cat owners as well.

If you have both cats and dogs, then you’ll be pleased to hear that you can get all the info you need for all your animals on the ScritchSpot app.

Simply let the app know whether you have cats or both cats and dogs, and it will provide you with the features and information you need.

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One Final Note…What the Heck Is a Scritch Spot?

Do you know what a scritch spot is and why it’s such a clever name for this app?

Watch the video below to find out…

What is a Scritch?

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’1′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’1′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgW5h03fIbw[/responsive_video][blank_space height=’1em’]

Once again, I am so honored that ScritchSpot approached me about being the official ScritchSpot dog trainer.
While some of the app’s features may only be available to U.S. or Canadian residents, it’s still an incredible app that helps people all over the world take better care of their dogs.

It’s amazing to know that, through this app, dog parents will be empowered to understand and implement a kind, gentle training method that truly produces results.

I hope you’ll join me on this new adventure so you’ll be able to benefit from everything the ScritchSpot app has to offer.

Download the ScritchSpot app here. [blank_space height=’1em’]

Best wishes,
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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

The Great Shave Debate: 5 Things to Consider Before You Shave Your Dog

For years, dogs owners, dog trainers, and even veterinarians have argued about whether it’s ok, or even beneficial, to shave your dog’s coat.

So…to shave or not to shave…what is the right choice?

As a dog owner myself, I know that the answer isn’t necessarily black or white.

In fact, there are many factors (both positive and negative) that need to be considered when making such a decision for your pup.

So, with that in mind, I’m simply going to leave you with some considerations to ponder as you make your decision.

Here are a few thoughts rooted in factual information that might help you determine if a shave is a good idea for your dog…

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Consideration #1 – What Type of Dog Do You Have?

There are two main types of dog coats.

The first type of dog coat is a double coat.

Dogs with a double coat have two layers of fur—a fluffy bottom coat that helps keep them warm and insulated and a stronger top coat that helps repel water and dirt.

Some of the more common breeds that have these types of coats are…

  • Huskies
  • Chows
  • Pomeranians
  • German Shepherds
  • Collies
  • Corgis
  • Golden Retrievers

The second type of coat is a single-layer coat.

Just as the name explains, a single coat means your dog only has one layer of fur that helps keep him warm and protected.

Common dog breeds with single coats are…

  • Hound dogs
  • Bulldogs
  • Dalmatians
  • Brittany spaniels
  • Pugs
  • Pitbulls
  • Pointers
  • Boxers

If you’re unsure of whether your dog has a single or double coat, Google it. You should be able to find out pretty fast with a quick online search.

In general, it’s not ideal to shave your dog if it has a double coat.

The reason: The double coat is actually designed to shield and protect your dog from the heat and keep him cool. If you remove that double coat, he will have a harder time staying cool in the long run.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t circumstances in which a double-coated dog may be better off shaved but you need to do a good amount of research on the topic first.

A jolly good brush: If your dog has a double coat and a thick layer underneath then one very simple solution is to give them a good brush in the summer when they shed a lot of their fluffy hair. When I used to brush Peanut we could sometimes get a couple of buckets of hair off her over the course of a month. We would do it several times a week and she would be very very grateful.

If you are still unsure then use this information and talk to your vet or dog groomer before making the decision.

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Consideration #2 – What Climate Do You Live In?

Most people make the decision to shave their dog because they live in a hot climate and worry about their dog overheating.

This is a very valid concern—especially if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors.

In this case, I would say it’s probably ok to consider shaving your dog (if he doesn’t have a double coat that’s designed to protect against heat).

That being said, it’s far more important to simply ensure your dog has access to cold, fresh water, air conditioning, and shaded outdoor areas.

Additionally, if you live in a hot climate and haven’t adopted a dog yet, I suggest you look for breeds that do well in hot climates.

For example, if you live in Florida, adopting a husky might not be the best decision.

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Consideration #3 – How Long Is Your Dog’s Fur?

You don’t necessarily have to cut all your dog’s fur off to keep him cool.

In fact, if you have a dog with very long fur (such as a bearded collie or Havanese), a trim might be just enough to give him the relief he needs, without destroying his coat and causing health problems.

A little trim can also help protect against other health issues such as…

  • Matted fur
  • Hotspots
  • Myiasis (a condition where maggots infest long fur)

Instead of shaving your dog’s entire body, talk to your groomer about trimming up your dog instead.

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Consideration #4 – Where Does Your Dog Spend Most of His Time?

If you own a husky that spends most of his time lying around your air-conditioned home, then there really is no reason to shave your dog.

He’ll be more than ok to go outside to do his business or for a daily walk.

However, if you own a dog that lives outside full-time or spends most of the day outside in the heat and has trouble staying cool, then it might be worth getting him shaved.

Once again, keep in mind the rule of double-coated vs single-coated dogs.

If you have a double-coated dog, it’s a safer option to ensure he has access to shade and water instead of getting him shaved.

If it’s a single-coated dog, I don’t see any reason why a shave would hurt.

Here are a few other great ideas for how you can keep any dog cool in the heat!

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Consideration #5 – Exposure

Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to remember that dogs have fur coats for a reason.

They offer protection from the sun, rain, heat, cold, etc.

If you shave your dog’s coat too thin, and he spends a lot of time outside, he’s naturally going to be more at risk for…

  • Getting sunburned/developing skin cancer.
  • Becoming ill due to exposure to cold weather/rain.
  • Experiencing skin infections/irritations due to less protection from outside irritants.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to determine what is best for your dog.

Be sure to take into consideration…

  • What type of dog you own.
  • Does your dog have a single or double coat.
  • Where he spends most of his time.
  • What risk factors he’s exposed to on a daily basis.

And don’t forget…

There’s no one size fits all approach to grooming your dog. Sometimes just a little grooming will make your dog feel much better preventing annoying issues for dogs, such as having their fur cover their eyes.

It can also prevent them from developing dreadlock-type mats that cause skin irritations and other issues.

However with other breeds you need to think twice, especially if your dog has a double coat. So do your research first and remember you can cool your dog by brushing out that under coat in the summer.

Keeping these things in mind, I have no doubt that you’ll make the right decision on behalf of your canine companion.

In an effort to help you make the best decision possible, I’ve put together a FREE checklist that includes 5 questions you should always ask your groomer before getting your dog’s fur cut.

[thrive_2step id=’10765′]↓ You can download it here for FREE! ↓[blank_space height=’1em’]

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Cheers,
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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

How to Determine If Your Dog’s Bad Behavior Is Caused by Boredom or Stress

As a dog trainer, I am often approached with questions about different dog behavioral problems.

Some people believe the issues that arise due to boredom are caused by lack of exercise or a lack of attention given to a dog.

And these things certainly can make the behavior worse. However, many of these behaviors are actually a direct result of an underlying leadership issue.

That’s right.

For example, separation anxiety can cause a dog a lot of stress, which results in unwanted behavior from the dog.

So, is your dog bored due to a lack of stimulation? Or, is there a bigger issue like stress at play?

Today, I’m going to talk about why dogs get bored so you can uncover the reasoning behind why your pup feels the need to…

  • Eat furniture
  • Be destructive
  • Run away
  • Dig
  • Bark nonstop
  • Express other behavioral issues

…and how you can get these bad behaviors under control.

So, is your dog bored? Or just stressed out?

Let’s find out now…

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Why Dogs Get Bored

Dogs are extremely intelligent, social animals.

For this reason, dogs can certainly get bored.

You might be thinking, “Well, all my dog wants to do is sleep on the couch.” And, that could be true.

Some breeds are more relaxed than others.

For instance, Greyhounds, Great Danes, Basset Hounds, Pugs, and Bulldogs are often low energy and like to spend a large part of their day napping.

However, breeds such as Border Collies, German Shepherds, and Poodles are among the breeds who are most likely to get in trouble when bored.

The phrase “a tired dog is a happy dog” is absolutely true.

Not only does mental stimulation relieve boredom, but it can also help relieve any stress your dog is feeling and help your dog’s personality shine through.

What type of physical and mental stimulation am I referring to?

Well, there are all different types of stimuli. But, I recommend exposing your dog to new things and new places. And, providing them with as many learning experiences as possible.

Training, for example, is an excellent way to burn off some steam if you have run out of ideas for the day and your dog is still bored and ready to rock and roll.

Even if your dog knows sit, come, and stay, reinforcing those commands doesn’t hurt, and it makes your dog feel like he’s doing a good job.

A walk in the park or learning a new trick can also be a great way to channel a dog’s nervous energy. Naturally, as a dog’s energy is released, his anxiety should also start to decrease.

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Two Indicators That Help Identify If Your Dog’s Poor Behavior Is Due to Boredom or Stress

Determining whether your dog is bored or stressed (and if there is an underlying cause) is not an easy problem to solve.

There are two indicators that I look for…

The first indicator is to see if the unwanted behavior stops when you are in your home.

For example, if you return home from work and your dog lies down in the sun and relaxes (instead of chewing furniture like he did when you weren’t there), then it certainly seems like your dog’s stress has more to do with YOU not being there!

This is what we call separation anxiety and is not too tricky to stop.

The second suggestion to test whether your dog is bored and or simply stressed is to take him for a walk.

If your dog charges around and runs at a million miles an hour, then chances are he has a lot of pent-up energy that needs to be let out! Learn how to help keep him calm here!

If your dog walks calmly, it’s more likely that the underlying cause of your dog’s bad behaviors is a lack of mental or physical stimulation!

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Signs of Stress in Dogs

There are also many other very clear warning signs that will tell you if your dog is stressed.

For instance, does your dog still pace up and down the hallway, even after you’ve taken a walk in the park?

Does your dog continually bark and whine when something in his environment changes?

Or, is his behavior dependent on where he’s at or whom he’s with?

The key to identifying stress in dogs is to take note of patterns.

For instance, if your dog only digs holes in your carpet when you aren’t there, it’s a clear indication that your absence causes him stress.

If it was boredom, he’d likely dig holes regardless of whether you are there or not.

Keep track of the behavioral issues that occur when your dog’s environment changes.

If a lap around the park or a Kong stuffed with peanut butter doesn’t deter bad behaviors, it’s likely that stress is at play.

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Ways to Prevent Boredom and Unnecessary Stress

The good news is that there are many ways to prevent boredom as well as alleviate stress. Here’s what I recommend…

DOGGY DAYCARE

First, let’s talk about doggy daycare.

If you’re going to be gone for hours and hours, having someone come to your home or dropping your dog off at a doggy daycare could be extremely helpful in deflecting destructive behaviors due to boredom.

Doggy daycare will also help if your pup gets stressed when left home alone.

At doggy daycare, your dog will have something to do all day. And, when he comes home, he will likely be ready to cuddle on the sofa and watch a movie.

Look around for local doggy daycares or professional pet sitters. Then, ask for a meet-and-greet to see if your dog is comfortable being with them.

If you’re home most of the day, or your dog comes with you on outings, don’t forget to give her plenty of exercise during the day.

LONG WALKS

The general recommendation is a minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise, but this varies based on breed and age.

Take your dog for a long walk each day, even if it’s just at your home.

If you don’t have time for a walk, I recommend hiring a dog walker to help you out. You can usually find a trustworthy dog walker for about 10 US Dollars a day.

A daily walk will alleviate boredom as we as help your dog get rid of some nervous energy.

STRUCTURE

Structure is also extremely helpful in managing your dog’s behavioral issues and preventing boredom and unnecessary stress.

It’s important to establish a routine.

Your dog will begin to understand when it’s time to go potty, when it’s time to play, and when it’s time to go to sleep for the evening.

You’ll notice a much happier, healthier dog with a routine in place.

GAMES

Another way to stimulate your dog is to turn mealtime into a fun game.

Place your dog’s kibble throughout the house and have your dog sniff to find it. You can also take a look at slow feeder bowls to increase mental stimulation.

PLAYDATES

And last but not least, I recommend playdates!

This might sound silly, but most dogs absolutely love playdates with their dog buddies.

During playdates, your dog will be able to run, jump, play tug-of-war, etc. and release a ton of energy.

This also provides your dog with another opportunity to be social and interact with both dogs and people.

As you know, dogs are pack animals. So, encouraging play with other dogs can be helpful.

Don’t panic if your dog isn’t a fan of other dogs, though. Some dogs are just that way.

Just like us, some people love being in crowds of people. Others would prefer to stay home and relax by themselves or with several select people.

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The Bottom Line on Doggy Boredom and Stress

In order to keep your dog from exhibiting destructive behaviors due to boredom, make sure he gets plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Let him play.

Let him run.

And, make sure you’re spending plenty of time with him to give him that social interaction piece of the puzzle.

However, if those solutions don’t work, stress may be the bigger problem at play.

If your dog is showing signs of anxiety or is being destructive even after being exercised, it’s possible that your dog has an underlying behavioral issue that is causing him to feel stressed (as I mentioned at the very beginning of the blog).

This comes out in the form of unsettled behavior where a dog continually wanders around, can’t relax, jumps up at noises, or follows you everywhere…

When you are not there, things get even worse for your dog.

This is the underlying issue too much of what is seen as boredom:

If your dog is experiencing behavior problems that exercise and stimulation don’t fix, be sure to…

  1. Check that the behavior is not being caused by stress and an underlying behavioral issue. Discover whether stress or another issue is at play while checking out my Dog Calming Code here. Or, if you have a puppy, put my Puppy Coach training program into place to help prevent boredom issues from occurring in the future.
  2. Give the information in The Dog Calming Code a try and see if it helps. (After working with over 3000 dogs, I am sure it will!)
  3. Remember that a dog that sleeps and lies for hours relaxing in the sun after a nice walk is not depressed but relaxed!

Still not sure if your dog’s behavioral issues are due to boredom or stress?

No problem…there are several things dogs do to communicate that they are stressed out…

I don’t want you to have any doubt about what your dog’s behavior means. For that reason, I created a FREE guide that highlights 5 warning signs your dog is stressed out.

Download the FREE guide here.

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I encourage you to check it out and see if any of my recommendations will help relax your pup and keep him occupied.

If you’re still struggling or want additional help, please go ahead and check out my Dog Calming Code here.

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Cheers,
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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

10 Things Humans Do That Dogs Struggle to Understand

Do you ever wonder…

  • Why your dog stares at you blankly while you play games on your phone?
  • Why your pup feels the need to bark and growl at the vacuum cleaner?
  • Why your pooch chooses to hang out in the other room while you’re watching a sporting event?

Everyday rituals like playing on our smartphones, swiffering the floor, or watching your rambunctious kids run and scream through the house might seem normal to you.

However, in a dog’s world, some of these things are just downright confusing.

The worst part…your dog’s confusion can lead him to feeling nervous or irritated.

The simple truth is that there are many human activities that just don’t make sense in a dog’s world.

Curious if anything you’re doing might be upsetting your furry companion? I’ve come up with a list of items you can look over—with the help of my amazing Dog Trainer Academy students—that might be helpful to you.

Check it out now!

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#1 – Playing Video Games

Video games are addicting—and for good reason. They are tons of fun!

However, when you spend hours upon hours playing games instead of walking your dog or playing tug, your pup may begin to wonder where your loyalty lies.

On top of not spending time with your dog, video games can be loud and scary. Shooting noises, background music, and other sound effects may make your dog uncomfortable or even frightened.

This is especially true if you suddenly start screaming and shouting at the screen because some zombie is chasing you down the street!

My Advice: There’s nothing wrong with loving video games. However, if you play for hours on end, I recommend that you set timers throughout the day to put down the controller and spend time with your pup.

On top of spending time with your dog, make sure your video game volume is under control. Set your TV volume to a normal level, or better yet, invest in headphones so your dog doesn’t get upset by loud noises.

The flip side of all of this is that many dogs will actually relax when you are playing because it’s the one time YOU actually relax!

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#2 – Constant Use of Tablets/Smartphones

Tablets and smartphones fall under the same category as video games.

Here are a few reasons it’s important to be mindful of your cell phone usage…

First of all, if you spend all your time on your phone, your pup may begin to wonder why your rectangular-shaped electronic dog gets more love and affection.

That’s no good!

Second, if you’re using your phone while out walking your dog, it can put you both in danger. Heaven forbid, you’re not paying attention, and you and your pup gets hit by a car or walk yourself right into a dangerous scenario.

Third, talking on the phone can be confusing to your dog.

I bet you that if you pay attention, you’ll notice that your dog is fascinated about why you chatter away with nobody around–especially if you start getting animated, upset, or begin to shout!

Your dog will be looking at you thinking…What are you doing?!

And finally, your dog knows that when you’re talking on the phone, your mind is not focused on him or the walk but is elsewhere! So, be careful. You need to pay attention…(You can’t fool a dog!)

My Advice: Once again I recommend that you limit your time with your electronics if your dog is not getting enough attention and use your hands to play fetch or massage your dog instead.

And, of course, if you’re doing any type of activity like hanging out at the dog park or walking your dog, put your phone away and pay attention. An accident can happen in an instant. As a dog parent, it’s your responsibility to be engaged and aware.

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#3 – Fireworks and Party Crackers

As humans, we understand that fireworks and party crackers are fun and festive and that they won’t hurt us.

However, dogs aren’t capable of understanding what fireworks are and why we set them off.

I mean, imagine trying to explain why we set them off to a dog!

Here’s why this is a problem…

Dogs have a deeply rooted instinct to run away from and escape anything that feels threatening to them. Loud booms and bangs certainly fall into that category.

For this reason, the crack of a firework can easily set your dog into panic mode, causing him to want to run and hide.

As I said, there’s no way to rationally explain to your dog that he is safe and ok, regardless of the scary noises. And, because dogs are often fearful of this type of fanfare, many dogs end up suffering from panic attacks or run away from their homes due to the startling noises.

My Advice: In some areas, the use of fireworks or party crackers is unavoidable. For this reason, I recommend setting up a safe space for your dog inside your home–preferably in an interior room–where he can hide and feel safe until the festivities are over.

I also recommend NOT bringing party poppers into your home or setting off fireworks near your house. It’s not worth the stress and anxiety you may cause your pup.

For a more in-depth read on how to handle fireworks, check out this post.

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#4 – Screaming Children

If you have kids, you know firsthand that they can be crazy and loud.

As a father myself, I understand that you can’t forbid your kids to have fun while running around, playing games, and simply being kids.

That being said, loud screaming can be upsetting to dogs, and some people!

First of all, the loud noise is likely irritating to your dog’s sensitive ears.

Second, screaming and running may cause your dog to worry about whether your kids are ok. For instance, if you have a dog with protective instincts, a fun game of tag may make your dog believe that your child who is being chased is in danger.

This may promote anxious or aggressive behavior from your dog.

My Advice: Your dog may not be able to differentiate play from a real emergency. For this reason, I recommend that you talk with your kids about proper etiquette around dogs. If they want to run and scream, have your kids take their play outside. If they want to be inside with your pup, make sure your kids know to use quiet, indoor voices.

If that’s not possible and it’s a birthday party for example (we had 23 young kids in the house the other day at my daughter’s 7th birthday!), then put the dog somewhere safe like another room or a neighbor’s house.

Better yet, I encourage you to check out my Dog Calming Code program that will teach you how to keep your dog calm and focused in even the most stressful situations. Or, if you have a puppy, my Puppy Coach training program might suit your needs better!

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#5 – Vacuum Cleaners/Roombas/Lawn Mowers

I can’t say for certain, but I imagine house cleaning and yard maintenance tools like vacuums, lawn mowers, and Roombas look like loud, scary, alien robots to our canine companions.

Could you imagine if you walked into your home to see an unidentified life-form taking out your trash? (Ok, maybe you’d be thrilled! But, that’s beside the point.)

Machinery can be very scary to dogs. That’s why it’s no surprise as that your dog may bark and growl when these types of devices are on and running.

My Advice: Dogs don’t understand the concept of cleaning. So, they will never understand why we use things like vacuums and lawnmowers.

My best advice is to keep your dog away from these types of devices if they make your dog nervous or anxious. If you’re vacuuming your living room, put your dog upstairs in your bedroom. If you’re mowing your lawn, keep your dog indoors. Easy as that!

If you are looking for training tips, then check this out.

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#6 – Seeing Other Dogs on TV

One minute your dog is lying on the floor in his territory enjoying a nice nap. The next second, there’s a dog on TV barking, and suddenly, your dog may think his home is being invaded.

The reality is that dogs don’t always realize what’s real and what’s fake. If your dog sees a dog on TV, he may actually believe that the dog is real, standing right in front of your TV.

My Advice: In my honest opinion, I can be quite fun to let your dog watch other dogs on TV and see what his reaction is. Usually it’s silly and harmless–and if your dog is very social, he might even enjoy it!

If your dog gets nervous or angry by other dogs on TV, my only suggestion is to try the calm freeze technique combined with the 7-step formula while you are watching the TV channels like Animal Planet that regularly feature shows on dogs, as well as other

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#7 – Remote-Control Cars/Drones

Most dogs have a natural instinct to chase things. After all, stalking and chasing are a big part of how dogs in the wild catch their food!

For this reason, things like remote-control cars and drones can be very confusing.

On one hand, your dog may get wound up with the urge to catch the remote-control toys you are playing with. On the other hand, fast moving objects that make loud noises might scare your pup.

My Advice: I always believe in the rule that safety comes first. If your dog enjoys chasing and you are ok with him getting some exercise while running after a remote-control car, go for it. But, make sure it doesn’t become obsessive. This means you should always be able to call him back to you instantly.

If your dog gets weirded out by remote-control toys/drones or his obsession with chasing a toy becomes dangerous, I would keep your pup away or keep him on a leash.

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# 8 – Where Food Comes From

In the wild, dogs know that they have to track, hunt, and kill their food.

They understand that what they eat comes from the animals they track down. It’s actually quite remarkable that wild dogs have the ability to find the foods they like and turn them into dinner.

However, our domesticated pups have it a bit different. Their general understanding is that food comes from the pantry, a hall closet, or a refrigerator–where you keep their kibble or fresh foods.

Because we feed our dogs and don’t make them hunt for their own food, we become the provider. Your dog will always look to you when he’s wanting his next meal.

Domesticated dogs certainly don’t understand that you go to the grocery store or pet store and buy their food. But knowing that their meals will be provided by you is a very important thing.

As the food provider, your dog will understand that you are the caretaker and the one in control. Once this role is established, your dog will be more willing to listen and take command from you.

My Advice: It’s important that your dog understands that you are the food provider. In order to make this clear, I always tell people to eat their food before they feed their dog. This helps establish a hierarchy in your home.

For some ideas on how to treat your dog to a delicious dinner, check out my post on 7 foods that canines crave!

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# 9 – Why You Let Strange People Come to Your Door

Between visiting friends and family, neighbors who need a favor, your Amazon Prime deliveries, and solicitors, there’s a lot of opportunity for people to visit your home and ring your doorbell.

As humans, we understand that we live in a community where people are going to come knocking at our door to share a visit with us, try to sell us something, etc.

But, our dogs don’t know this. In fact, some dogs probably think a home break-in is about to occur every time someone steps on your front doorstep.

Dogs can be very territorial by nature, so it’s no surprise that your pup might bark, jump, or growl when someone comes over. In some ways it’s instinctual–especially if your dog thinks HE’S the one in charge.

My Advice: You can train your dog to be calm and relaxed when visitors come to your door. I recommend repeatedly exercising a situation where someone knocks on your door until your dog gets bored and relaxes. Eventually, he will learn that it’s no big deal when someone comes over for a visit.

The most important thing is to make sure your dog knows you are the one in charge and that you’ll decide who is allowed in and who is not.

To find out more about this, check out this link to the Dog Calming Code here.

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#10 – Large Crowds/House Parties

As humans, we understand when we intentionally put ourselves into chaotic situations–such as having a house party or deciding to take a stroll downtown.

But, dogs don’t typically have a say in the situation.

They go from peacefully napping on the couch to being submersed among strangers and loud noises.

Sadly, this can cause a pup to become anxious, nervous, and scared. Worst of all, these feelings can trigger your dog to lash out, bark, or even bite.

My Advice: As a dog owner, you should know your dog well enough to understand if he will be comfortable in chaotic situations–such as having a house party. Even if he is relaxed, I’d recommend creating a safe space for him to rest and relax if the noise and people get too overwhelming.

The same rule goes for taking your dog out in public. If you know large crowds won’t bother him, go for it. If you know your dog gets anxious or nervous, leave him at home.

If you have a dog that gets anxious around any of the things I just talked about, you’re in luck.

I’ve created a FREE guide that’s designed to help you desensitize your dog to the things that may cause him stress and anxiety.

[thrive_2step id=’10423′]↓ Download my FREE How to Desensitize Your Dog to New or Scary Situations ↓[blank_space height=’1em’]

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Use the training techniques provided in the guide above, and I have no doubt that you’ll be able to help your pup overcome his fear of things he doesn’t understand.

Oh, and before I go, I wanted to say thanks to my Dog Trainer Academy students for helping me come up with all the ideas.

This special group has worked really hard over the last year to become certified dog trainers–and, boy, are they all amazing!

If you have any interest in learning what my Dog Trainer Academy is all about, you can find out more here.

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Cheers,
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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

7 Life Lessons from My Beloved Dog Peanut

At the end of April 2018, my beloved dog Peanut passed away at the age of 13 and a half.I always believed that she came into this world to change lives and help us understand dogs and ourselves better.Now, looking back, I also realize she was one of the greatest life teachers I could have wished for. So today, I would like to share with you 7 lessons she taught me during her life so that you too can benefit from the wisdom of my beautiful, wise, old dog, Peanut.And, at the end, I’ll share with you a fascinating story, which I personally believe is more than just a coincidence!Let’s begin with a very quick history of my dear dog. Watch my tribute to Peanut’s life here…

Peanut came to my wife and me as a 10-week-old puppy who was supposed to remain small, round, and brown! However, she grew incredibly fast and soon developed into a big, strong, majestic dog. From the moment we got her, it was clear that she was special. Almost everyone who met her loved her, called her their favorite dog, and fell in love with her…even people who “didn’t like dogs”!She was so special, in fact, that Peanut was actually the one who finally got me out of the corporate world and motivated me to become a dog trainer.

For over a decade we travelled around sharing the dog training method that has become known as The Dog Calming Code with thousands of people.

She also inspired the membership site of the Online Dog Trainer and was the inspiration behind my book What the Dogs Taught Me About Being a Parent.

So, in more ways than one, she totally changed my life and helped tens of thousands of people around the world.I was so fortunate to get 13 and a 1/2 beautiful years with her. So, that’s a quick summary! And in honor of her passing and a desire to continue her legacy, here are 7 things Peanut taught me during her time on earth.

#1 Choose very carefully those people you hang around with.

We all have to be careful about whom we hang around with in life. And looking back at Peanut’s life, I realize now that she put this into practice every day…She was always very aware of what people’s ulterior motives were and what their energy signature was. She knew whether somebody was in a place of desperation, frustration, anger, or bitterness. And she was very careful about whom she hung around. Here’s an example of just how in tune Peanut was. Check out this video to take a look at a very special story of how she helped one lady out…

So, if somebody was being…

  • Leachy, or an energy vampire…
  • Crazy, silly, excited, or anxiety fueled…
  • Angry, aggressive, bitter, hurtful, or resentful…

…she would generally just ignore those people.That’s right. She wouldn’t challenge them. Instead, once she’d accurately ascertained where they were at, she’d choose NOT to align with them.Put very simply, she’d walk away, and that moving away meant she didn’t waste her energy!That did NOT mean she stopped loving you if you were having a bit of an off day. But, she certainly was always very aware of hanging around negative energy.If a dog was looking for a fight, Peanut was the first to simply walk away!She taught me to think about the energy of the people that I hang around with a lot.She made me think…Does this person suck my energy? Do I get sucked into his/her dramas, anger, or frustration?Does this leave me feeling topped up and positive about life? Or does he/she drain me and leave me feeling stuck in the status quo?If Peanut could speak, she’d tell you to pay attention to these things, too! Take notice of whom you hang around because their energy will affect yours.And remember, you always have the option of moving away and hanging out with positive people and positive energy.

#2 Being great is not about winning.

Peanut was such a great dog who was loved by both people and other dogs. But she never had to “win” that love…Nor did she have to “win” to be loved! I took GREAT notice of this because I used to be such a competitive person.And as someone who is competitive, it’s easy to feel as if you need to compete and win to be viewed as “being great” or “worthy” of love. But here’s the thing…We loved Peanut because of who she was. NOT because of what she did.Peanut didn’t have to compete and prove herself. We just loved her.For this reason, I’ve started being a lot easier on myself in life.Whether it’s about being right in an argument or coming first in a sports competition, the focus is LESS about winning at all costs.Peanut has taught me something very simple but totally profound…“Better to be happy than right.” 

#3 Practice unconditional love.

I never really understood what unconditional love was until I saw Peanut demonstrate it consistently for over 13 years. Let me give you a very simple example…There was a period when Peanut and I spent almost every day together for an entire year. She was by me in the passenger seat of the car, next to me at home, with me on the beach, walking, working, resting and playing…she was always by my side…In fact, I spent more time with Peanut than I did with my wife, Jenni!But, as the years went by and Peanut got older and stayed home more, we didn’t see each other so much. We didn’t have so much time for each other, and I was forced to ignore her to a degree to focus on my family, business, and other things. But she was always there. It didn’t matter if I was not walking her as I wanted or she wanted. And it didn’t matter that I didn’t spend much time with her. She was always there. It didn’t matter what I did…she loved me no matter what. And on that last day when I was with her, I really felt that. It was an amazing connection. Something that words will NEVER be able to explain…Her desire to connect with me on her final day on this earth was something that had to be seen.It felt as if she had to make sure that I knew how much she loved me.That even though I had not spent as much time with her as I would like to, she still loved me unconditionally…And she succeeded in doing that. She made it all very, very clear. She demonstrated unconditional love up until the moment she took her last breath. Unconditional love is NOT about loving because of what the other being gives you or does for you. You simply love them for who they are…

#4 Be calm and at peace, and others will become calm, too.

There is no doubt in my mind that you attract what you put out. Having witnessed it over the whole of Peanut’s life, I now understand it better. Peanut and I worked with thousands of dogs—many hundreds of them were very aggressive—sharing with people how to implement The Dog Calming Code training method with amazing results. Yet she was never bitten. NEVER. Not once.Nor did she ever bite…NEVER…Not once. In fact, she passed through her whole life almost as if she had a protective bubble around her.It was phenomenal. She would turn up to some dog consults with very aggressive dogs, and in those situations, she would stay a hundred yards away. It was as if she was saying, “I am not gonna go near them. They’re gonna bite” so she knew exactly when and with which dogs to keep her distance… Yet, there were also many, many times where a dog was overexcited, very scared, or potentially aggressive, and she would just move in slowly with her bubble of calm, peace, and confidence.And then, like magic, it was as if the other dog would become engulfed inside Peanut’s bubble of peace and calm. And the day would be transformed…He would go from stiff, tail up, tense, and eyes wide open to relaxed, sniffing about, and just casually following Peanut around!From this experience, I slowly understood that if we want others to be calm and still, then we ourselves need to create that inner calm and stillness.It’s too easy to shout “calm down, calm down” but it never works… Peanut put into practice the great quote of Gandhi…“Be the change that you wish to see in this world.”Peanut was calm, loving, and gentle and that is exactly what she attracted into her life.

#5 Master the art of patience.

Peanut’s patience was just unbelievable. When I look at the puppies she helped raise including my own two, Inca and Moses— she took care of them as if they were her own. Her tolerance with the puppies jumping and climbing all over her was another level above what I have seen any human put up with.Not to mention, she was always patient with our two young children. When she’d had enough, she would move away, and, of course, if necessary, we would step in to give her a break, but that was rarely needed.And, when she did discipline and tell a puppy or dog off, she would do just enough to give a good clear warning, but never more than that. She was always in a calm, peaceful place… even when she was disciplining and laying down the ground rules. She taught me that patience doesn’t mean that you don’t ever say ‘No!’Rather it’s a case of saying “No” clearly and calmly from a place of patient love. 

#6 Silence is golden.

Peanut never spoke! And she rarely barked!In fact, for most of her amazing existence, sharing and communication were done in silence.Through Peanut, I learned that silence is not only golden, but it is also powerful. The power of silence is something we often underestimate. We think we have to be constantly talking to communicate. I often wondered what was going on inside Peanut’s mind when she used to just lie in the sun.Was she dreaming? Meditating?Unfortunately, I never found out. But, I have a sneaky suspicion that it was a bit of both! Because remember—you attract what you put out. Put out love, calm, and peaceful energy, and that is what you will attract. Put out non-stop talking and sending out energy, and you will get a non-stop barrage of energy back at you! So, if you really want to take things to the next level…Spend a bit of time in silence each day, in meditation, in prayer, or just in silence focusing on your breath. Experience what calm dogs do most of their lives!And if you find that impossible, then maybe you’re getting close to discovering something about your state of mind.Let me wrap up this point by asking you to think about this quote…“Is it any wonder that man’s best friend doesn’t speak?”

#7 Be here now, and experience love.

I know that this is a phrase that is often bandied about…but I never fully understood the level to which one could take it until Peanut passed. When I look back at how she lived every single moment of every day in the now, I see how, when it came to her last day, she could have no regrets!She had gotten the most out of every moment, every day, every second, every experience so there was nothing to regret!When on the beach, she was fully there, exploring the seashore, in the water, in the sand, rolling and playing…she wasn’t worried about me or the other dogs, or what was for dinner!And when she was at home cuddling, she was there with you 100% in mind and body. There was no wasting time wishing for something to be different!When it was time to work and to help another dog in a consultation, she was there fully in the moment. Committed to making it happen.This amazing ability to always simply BE in the moment meant that she was always totally engaged in it. Fully embracing life at all times, she gave it her ALL and chose to enjoy the process.And then she moved onto the next thing. The result of this…there could be no regrets.Often, she didn’t have to physically DO anything—it would be more of a mental thing.For example, when she was cuddling you, she could just be there, in the moment, existing, taking it all in, and being happy. After all, we are called “human beings.” Notice the start of the word: be.So maybe today, STOP being a “human doing” rushing around “doing stuff” and just be here now.When you are having a meal with your family or friends, be there with them fully engaged making the most of it…no distractions!And when you are away from them doing something else, be fully focused on what it is you are doing.Notice and enjoy each and every moment!So, there are seven of the many things that Peanut shared with me over her lifetime. Hopefully some of those will help you on your journey of life.If you’d like to find out more about what Peanut has taught me, I encourage you to check out the amazing power of The Dog Calming Code method, the exact same one that we shared with thousands of dog owners over the years. 

My Gift to you (from Peanut)

And, as a special gift, I’d like to offer you 5 FREE audio chapters from my book to get you started.Get your FREE Audio chapters here.

I believe Peanut would like it that way :)Now, as promised, I would like to finish with a little story, which I have never shared before. This story takes place on the day Peanut died. Check it out…On the day of Peanut’s death, I had a strangely weird sense that I need to pay attention and document the exact time she took her last breath. So, within seconds of Peanut taking her last breath, I turned immediately to the clock, took the time, and wrote it down on a piece of paper. The time was 10:34. At the time I didn’t know why I had to write it down, but it struck me not long after as to why the number was so significant. You see Peanut was the dog who got me on the path to begin my career as a dog trainer. She got me out from a series of careers that I did not enjoy—the very first one of which I was a police officer.And, believe it or not, my police officer number that I had been given by the British Police force was Police Officer 1034.The exact same number as the time Peanut passed—10:34.Of course, it may be coincidence that this happened, but it also may not be. You need to decide that for yourself. I have to add that this wouldn’t be the first time an odd coincidence with Peanut has occurred. Watch this video to see an interesting story from Peanut’s life.

(And I plan on sharing more of those stories at a later time…so stay tuned!)I believe without a shadow of a doubt that there is so much more going on in this world that we cannot see.Personally, I believe we are so much more than just physical bodies. That there is another force, call it a spirit or a soul that lives on…And that the dogs are aware of and connected to these things as well.It’s my hope that these stories will motivate you to be the best you can and to believe in something greater than the bricks and mortar that we are often imprisoned by.I do not claim to have all the answers, but I feel blessed to have experienced a lifetime with Peanut, and it is my pleasure to have shared some of those experiences with you.If we are ready to listen to our dogs (and other animals), then they will certainly be willing to share with us what they know.Today when you get home, sit in silence with your dog and see what he has to share…And when he opens up to you in that silence…make sure that you are listening :)Oh, and don’t forget to check out The Dog Calming Code here.

Cheers,

~Doggy Dan 🙂

Doggy Dan’s Guide to Safe Muzzle Use for Dogs

If you have an aggressive dog—or a dog who has the potential to be aggressive—you may have to consider using a muzzle.

That being said, a lot of people don’t understand when it’s appropriate to use a muzzle or what type of muzzle is the safest choice for their dog.

For that reason, I want to talk about different types of muzzles, the pros and cons of using muzzles, and how to pick a muzzle that will keep both you and your dog safe.

Of course, muzzling your dog isn’t a long term solution. If you have a dog that is aggressive, I encourage you to check out my program The Dog Calming Code to see how I’ve helped countless dogs overcome aggressive tendencies.

Check out the program here.

Or, if you have a puppy, check out my Puppy Coach training program to see how you can set a solid foundation for your pup and prevent him from developing aggressive behaviors.

But, in the short term, keep reading to discover my suggestions on how to pick and use a muzzle that’s appropriate for your dog…

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Common Muzzle Usage Misconceptions

To begin, I want to discuss one of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to muzzles.

That mistake is that people think using a muzzle will train a dog not to be aggressive.

This is certainly not the case.

A muzzle is not a training device. It should only act as a safety device or safety net!

It is a great tool that you can use while you are training your dog. But, it does not really deal with the cause of the problem.

So, if you start using a muzzle, you also need to do some actual dog training to help resolve your dog’s aggressive tendencies.

Stressed dogs are NOT happy dog’s.

Another misconception is that people think it’s OK to bring a very aggressive dog who’s showing serious signs of aggression out in public places (park, cafe, etc.) as long as the dog wears a muzzle.

This isn’t fair to your dog or other dogs and dog owners.

Sure, your dog may not be able to bite with a muzzle on, but he’s likely going to still be stressed out.

This stress can attract unwanted attention from other dogs and comments from other owners!

The bottom line is this…

A muzzle isn’t going to correct your dog’s aggressive tendencies. You still need to implement training to see positive changes and results.

Until your dog begins making progress with aggression training, it’s not fair to put a muzzle on him and take him out to places where he might be anxious and/or upset other dogs.

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Which Is the Right Muzzle for Your Dog?

As you can imagine, there are many different types of muzzles.

However, you can group the majority of them into two groups.

1. Basket Muzzles

First, there are what we call basket muzzles.

These muzzles look a bit like a woven basket and are designed to allow dogs to open their mouths a bit, breath, drink, and even eat without any problems.

A basket muzzle…

2. Sausage Sleeve Muzzles

The other type of muzzle is what I call a Sausage Sleeve Muzzle. It’s a funny name, but it reminds me of the way a sausage skin contains meat.

The problem with this muzzle is that it’s tight and is very fitted to the dog’s muzzle. For this reason, dogs who wear them struggle to drink, can’t eat, and have a hard time breathing.

The reason is simple.

A sausage muzzle wraps around a dog’s nose like a sleeve as in the picture below.

This forces the mouth closed and prevents the dog from opening his mouth and breathing properly.

This type of muzzle is very effective at keeping a dog’s mouth closed so he can’t bite.

However, this design forces a dog to breathe through the nose and can cause big issues…

For instance, if it’s hot outside, your dog needs to be able to pant to stay cool. With the sausage muzzle on, a dog can’t pant, which can lead him to overheat, get really sick, or even die.

It’s also true that most dogs need to breathe a lot when outside because, by default, they are being exercised, running, and are excited…so getting lots of oxygen in is super important!

On top of it all, the dog wearing the muzzle might be stressed (hence the need for the muzzle), and the contact stress can lead to more aggression, putting your dog in a vicious aggression circle.

Exceptions to the Rule

Despite the fact that I don’t recommend sausage muzzles for when a dog is being exercised outside, there is a place for them.

They are very secure and safe, which makes them ideal for some people like veterinarians.

When a vet uses this type of muzzle, he or she is often indoors in an air-conditioned facility, and the muzzle is only kept on for a short time.

In this type of situation, using a sausage muzzle is safe for both the human and the dog.

So, as you can see, there are exceptions to the rules.

If you see a vet or other similar animal care provider using one, I wouldn’t worry too much.

The Halti Head Collar

Finally, there is one more type of device that looks like a muzzle that I want to mention, even though it’s not actually a muzzle.

The reason: I see a lot of people often confuse it with a muzzle so I wanted to clarify its purpose.

The Halti is a head collar…

It fits over a dog’s nose and uses pressure to gently prevent dogs from pulling on the leash.

That being said, dogs can still bite while wearing a Halti, so it shouldn’t be used for aggressive dogs.

A Halti head collar is NOT a muzzle!

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My Muzzle Recommendation

If you’ve made the decision that you need to use a muzzle, you might be wondering what type you should use—especially because some are dangerous in certain situations like the one I mentioned above.

If you have an aggressive dog, the actual muzzle style I recommend is a specific brand of basket muzzle, known as a Baskerville muzzle.

The Baskerville Muzzle

This type of muzzle is a basket-shaped device that goes on the front of the dog’s face. It’s open enough that it allows a dog’s jaw to open so he can breathe, drink, and even eat!

This muzzle also has a number of safety features, which make it incredibly strong and secure.

Best of all, they are wellsized and wellfitted so they are comfortable for dogs.

I have used them for over a decade now, and they are absolutely brilliant.

If you’re interested, here’s the link to the one I use!

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The Best Time to Use a Muzzle

So far, we’ve covered common muzzle-using mistakes as well as what type of muzzle you should use.

Now, I want to talk about when it’s appropriate to use a muzzle.

Use a Muzzle as a Safety Net

You may have put a lot of time in at home working to get rid of your dog’s aggressive tendencies. And now, you may be ready to try taking your dog to the park or in a public place.

Although you’ve put in the training, you might still worry about your dog biting.

That is a great time to say, “Well, let’s put the muzzle on just in case.”

You’re not saying, “I think my dog is gonna bite, but he won’t be able to bite because he has a muzzle on.”

You are saying, “I really don’t think he’s gonna bite. However, let’s not take any chances.”

It’s like a safety net—it’s not that you expect to use it; however, it’s there on the off chance that you will. And that is how you should be viewing the muzzle.

Use a Muzzle When You Can’t Avoid a Dangerous Situation

The next time that you should use a muzzle is when you have to put your aggressive dog in a situation that you cannot avoid, like going to the vet.

Doing this will keep both you, your dog, and the person handling your dog safe so no accidents happen.

Use a Muzzle When You Are Super Stressed

Lastly, a muzzle is brilliant if you are the one that is very stressed and worried that your dog will bite someone.

The reason is that dogs pick up on our energy. If your dog senses you are stressed, he will be more likely to feel stressed as well and bite.

If you’re able to relax knowing a muzzle is on your dog, your dog will be able to relax, too.

Muzzle Sizing

Before we finish up, it is important to point out that the size of the muzzle is very important.

If it is too tight, it can rub on your dog’s nose, create sores, and put pressure around the face and push on the end of the dog’s nose.

Improperly fitted muzzles can also block a dog’s vision or become unsecured when it is too loose.

You need to make sure you get the right size muzzle.

Here’s a quick video of me replacing a sausage muzzle with a Baskerville muzzle.

Check out the fitting and how the dog has more room to open her mouth and breathe..

Choosing the right dog muzzle

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’1′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’1′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0ZHMfybTSM[/responsive_video][blank_space height=’1em’]

Oh, and in case you have trouble with getting your dog to wear a muzzle, I put together some tips that will hopefully make it easier for you.

Grab my FREE guide on [thrive_2step id=’9723′]Tips for Training Your Dog to Wear a Muzzle…[/thrive_2step]

[thrive_2step id=’9723′]➜ Access your FREE guide here.[/thrive_2step]

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How to Find Success with Using a Muzzle

As I said earlier, a muzzle will not get rid of aggressive behavior.

For that reason, you must work on training your dog to get rid of his aggressive tendencies.

I know that the idea of training an aggressive dog might feel overwhelming to you.

You may not even know where to begin, and that’s ok. I’m here to help!

First, if you are really worried about your dog’s behavior outside, I recommend purchasing a Baskerville muzzle for your safety.

Don’t forget to download my FREE guide on Tips for Training Your Dog to Wear a Muzzle, too!

[thrive_2step id=’9723′]↓ Download the FREE guide here ↓[/thrive_2step]

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And while you are waiting for your muzzle to arrive, I suggest you check out my online training program and get started with the training —The Dog Calming Code.

In this program, I will teach you proven and effective methods that are essential for calming your dog down and helping him put an end to his aggressive behavior.

Find out more about The Dog Calming Code here!

Best of luck!

Cheers,
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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

How to Introduce Your Dog to a New Baby (And a special FREE gift for you at the end)

If you’re reading this, it’s very possible that you…

  • Just found out you’re pregnant.
  • Just brought a new baby home from the hospital.
  • Know a family member or friend that just had a baby.

In any case, I want to say congratulations! I am so thrilled for you! As a father myself, I know how precious this time in your life is.

So special, in fact, that I created a little video with some of my thoughts regarding my own children. Watch it below…

The gift of kids

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’1′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’1′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8icstQmGdL8[/responsive_video][blank_space height=’1em’]

On another note, it’s possible that you’re also reading this post because you have a dog at home and you’re worried about how to introduce your dog safely to your new baby.

I know firsthand that this transition can be scary or worrisome.

As both a father and a dog owner, I know that, with a little instruction and advice, it’s easy to help your new baby and your furbaby start off on the right foot and develop a beautiful relationship.

To make the transition smooth and easy, here’s what I recommend…

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Acknowledge That Your Dog Can Sense the Presence of a New Baby

I think the first thing to point out is that even before the baby turns up in the house, your dog will know that you are pregnant.

In fact, I have actually worked with somebody that knew she was pregnant because their dog started to do a behavior that the dog only did during her last pregnancy.

When the dog started to do the funny behavior again, she had a pretty good feeling that she was pregnant even before seeing a doctor or taking a test.

If you’re expecting, please know that your dog will eventually pick up on it. And once your dog knows, he might start exhibiting some unusual behaviors.

I also want you to rest assured that, when you come home with your new baby, your dog will instinctively know that it’s a new member of your pack.

For this reason, it’s likely that your dog will treat the baby in a very special way, as a loving member of the pack.

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Establish a Calm Energy in Your Home

The first major thing I want to point out is energy levels.

It’s very important that your energy is very calm when introducing a dog to a new baby.

This might mean that you have to take many different steps, like starting with the dog outside or putting him on a leash while meeting the baby.

Once your dog learns to stay calm in the situation, you can let him freely meet the new family member.

The aim here is to show your dog that the baby is not a problem and that there is no drama. If you remain calm then you’ll achieve that goal.

The whole point of establishing a calm energy is to show your dog how you want him to behave.

If you want your dog to behave calmly, then you need to act calmly.

If you want your dog to respect space, then you need to put him on a lead and keep him at a little distance.

What I’m saying here is, don’t set your dog up to fail by letting him off the leash and letting him run around the room all crazy.

The initial meeting is very important, and it’s your job to set the tone for that meeting.

If your dog is anything but calm, I encourage you to check out my program The Dog Calming Code here! Or, if you have a puppy, give my Puppy Coach training program a try!

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Keep Your Own Energy Calm

It’s one thing to ask a dog to be calm.

It’s another thing to keep yourself calm while your dog is around–especially if you have a screaming baby.

While having a new baby can be a stressful transition, the last thing you want is to be stressed and screaming and shouting all the time when the baby is around.

Your dog will pick up on that stress and become stressed as well.

In this situation, it’s important to lead by example. Stay calm. Take a deep breath. Settle your body movements.

Do this and your dog should follow suit.

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Be Aware of Your Child’s Age and Level of Mobility

Bringing home a new baby doesn’t always mean you’ll be bringing home an infant.

For those that adopt, this could mean bringing home a mobile toddler into your home.

This can be really difficult for your dog. Here’s why…

A brand-new baby is certainly a change. But new babies don’t do much. They can’t crawl around and harass your dog.

However, a mobile toddler who likes to chase, pull hair and ears, and grab at dogs can be really scary–especially for a small dog who is already fearful.

We all know that a scared dog can easily resort to biting or scratching, which isn’t safe for your new addition.

If you’re in a situation where you’re introducing a toddler, my advice is to take it slow. Make sure your baby isn’t left alone with the dog, and monitor the interaction.

You can also teach your toddler to be gentle and give a dog space.

That being said, if you do have a brand-new baby, you’re at a bit of an advantage.

After all, your dog has a least a few months to get to know this little new baby and fall in love with him or her. Over these months, your dog will learn your baby’s smell and will realize that the baby doesn’t pose a threat.

During this time, your dog can form a bond with your baby and will become far more tolerant of your baby as he/she starts to grow up.

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Be Mindful of Setting Your Dog Up to Win and Use Precautions

As a dog trainer, I firmly believe that it’s important to always set your dog up to win.

For this reason, I suggest setting up baby gates and practicing separation from your dog.

You don’t always need your dog in the same room as your baby. And, at the same time, your dog doesn’t always need to be hovering over you.

Using a gate allows your dog to be present without having to always be on top of you.

Using this method will help keep your baby safe from accidents that might occur–like a dog accidently lying or jumping on top of the baby.

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Reward Your Dog for Good Behavior

The final thing I suggest is, when your baby does come, always reward your dog when he exhibits good behavior.

Keep taking your dog for walks.

Make sure you reward your dog and give him pats and cuddles and lots of love and attention.

It’s important that your dog understands that he is still loved and is not doing anything wrong. He needs to know that he will still get attention; however, around the baby, he still needs to remain calm.

Aside from what we’ve already talked about, there are other things that you can start implementing today to make the transition of adding a new human family member to your family easier when you have a dog.

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[blank_space height=’1em’]To help you out even further, or if you jumped to the very bottom to grab your special gift, here it is… 🙂

It’s the first 5 Chapters for FREE of my book called “What the Dogs Taught Me About Being a Parent”, published by Random House in 2013 and selling on Amazon…

It’s been a huge success, and I know you’ll enjoy it.

I even know of people without dogs or kids who have loved it!!!

[blank_space height=’0em’][thrive_2step id=’9424′][thrive_link color=’blue’ link=” target=’_self’ size=’medium’ align=”]↓ CLICK HERE TO Download My 5 FREE CHAPTERS ↓[/thrive_link][/thrive_2step]

Cheers,
[blank_space height=’1em’]

Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

5 Training Exercises to Prepare Your Dog for a New Baby (And a special FREE gift for you at the end)

Bringing a new baby home is an exciting, stressful, chaotic, and joyful time in a person’s life.

It’s a big event that often requires new parents to make lifestyle changes in order to accommodate the needs of their new bundle of joy.

That being said, people aren’t the only ones affected by this type of major life change.

Our four-legged furbabies must also adapt to the arrival of their two-legged siblings.

And this is often easier said than done.

Most dogs adore their new human packmates.

After all, there really is nothing better in the eyes of a dog than a baby that will grow up to become a toddler and routinely throws cheerios and other food items on the floor!

However, in the initial stages of introducing a new baby, your dog might also feel…

  • Overexcited
  • Jealous
  • Territorial
  • Stressed
  • Left out

This is where the importance of training and preparing your dog before the arrival of a new baby is so important.

If you, a friend, or a family member is expecting a baby anytime soon, I encourage you to check out the methods I used to train over 37,000 dogs to remain calm and listen when it matters most.

(Or if you have a puppy, take a look at my Puppy Coach training program first!)

Then, keep reading to discover my top 5 exercises for preparing dogs for the arrival of a new baby.

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Exercise #1 – Set Boundaries

The first exercise is all about setting boundaries and controlling space in the house.

It will be much easier on your dog if he knows that he doesn’t “own” the house before a new baby arrives.

When he knows his boundaries, you’ll have a much easier time keeping him out of the baby’s room, off the couch, etc.

This exercise is as simple as starting to put limits on where your dog is allowed to go.

For example, you might want to start by keeping your dog out of your bedroom. To implement this rule, it’s as easy as keeping your door closed or setting up a gate.

If you catch your dog where he’s not supposed to be, tell him, “Hey, get out of there” (in a loving sort of way!).

Over time, your dog will learn where he is and is not allowed to be.

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Exercise #2 – Establish Table Manners

It is very important to establish table manners with your pup—especially if you’re expecting a baby.

The reason: As your baby gets older, you certainly don’t want the dog hovering around the baby chair or trying to grab food off the baby’s high chair.

This is all fun to begin with, but after a while, it can become tiring, and eventually, it becomes a real pain having a begging dog at every meal.

Plus, your toddler soon realizes that any scraps can be simply dropped “over the side”!

In order to teach your dog table manners, I suggest using mat commands.

This is very simple to do.

You can teach mat commands by rewarding a dog with a treat when he stays on his mat during mealtime.

If your dog needs a little bit of extra help, you can use a leash to tie him where you want him seated during mealtimes. This leash is just a temporary training tool and will not be required for long.

After the mealtime is over, once again, you can reward your dog. Eventually, he will understand that he needs to sit on his mat while you are eating.

Having this training in place will help you avoid the dangers of having a dog hovering over a small a child who has food.

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Exercise #3 – Train Your Dog to Stay Off the Baby Blankets

As your baby gets older, you’ll most likely lay him or her on a blanket to play with toys and stretch out.

When you’re at this stage, the last thing you want is your baby lying on the floor and the dog coming and plunking himself right next to (or on top of) the baby.

Certainly, most dogs have no intentions of hurting a baby by sitting next to him or her.

However, even small dogs can be quite large compared to an infant, and there’s always the possibility that an accident—like suffocation or an injury like a claw scratch —might occur.

For the safety of your child, I suggest you train your dogs to stay off the blankets on the floor—and do so before your baby even arrives.

The training process is very easy.

All you have to do is place a blanket on the ground and say, “Off, off, off!” if the dog steps on the blanket.

The beautiful thing about starting this training early is that you don’t have to be stressed once the baby arrives.

There’s no danger because you haven’t gotten the baby yet. So, your dog learns that when the blanket is put on the floor, he’s not allowed to be on it.

The best part is that this training exercise can be fun for your dog. That’s right—you can turn it into a game!

For instance, you can reward your dog with treats when you say, “Hey, stay off the blanket.” Then you can praise your dog with “Good dog!” and a treat when he listens.

Eventually your dog will think, “Wow, aren’t I good at this game?” and it becomes enjoyable.

Most important, both your dog and baby will stay safe once this command is in place.

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Exercise #4 – Teach Your Dog to Walk behind a Stroller

One thing you’ll probably be looking forward to after your little one arrives is going for a walk as a family.

Of course, you don’t want to leave your furbaby behind, so you’ve got to learn how to walk your dog in tandem with pushing a stroller.

It might sound funny, but this is something that can be practiced long before your baby arrives.

That’s right. It sounds a bit odd to be pushing around an empty stroller, but the practice actually will make things safer for your dog and your new baby.

After all, the last thing you want is a 75‑pound dog yanking you sideways to smell the bushes while you’re trying to push the stroller.

In order to do this exercise, all you need to do is teach your dog to walk nicely behind your stroller.

Take your stroller out each day that you do a walk. Allow your dog to get used to the stroller. And reward your dog for walking calmly behind the stroller as you do your walk.

Eventually, your dog will catch on and will understand the rules of walking with a stroller.

Most dogs learn to walk beautifully with a stroller. But, that being said, I want to remind you to never tie your dog’s leash or connect it to the stroller in any way.

Even the world’s most behaved dog can get excited or distracted, and this can put your new baby in big danger.

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Exercise #5 – Train Your Dog to Respect Personal Space

Last but not least, something you really want to think about is training your dog to respect personal space.

If you have a dog that’s jumping all over you, then that is something you really want to consider stopping. The last thing you want is your dog jumping in your face trying to get attention while you’re holding your baby.

It’s also not ideal to have a dog that feels entitled to be in your lap or on top of you while you’re trying to feed or put a baby to sleep.

Out of all the personal space issues, jumping is the most serious. So serious, in fact, that I do have a program I’ve created called The Online Dog Trainer that can help sort this issue out.

In the meantime, I can give you the band-aid solution.

The temporary solution is to turn your back on your dog or move him off very calmly when he jumps.

If your dog continues to do this, then calmly take your dog and pop him into timeout for a minute or two…

This is a very powerful approach.

However, there is a lot more to it, and if you’re expecting a baby, I strongly urge you to check out The Dog Calming Code for long-lasting solutions.

In fact, there are many training techniques in The Dog Calming Code that will help at every stage as you introduce your new family member into your home.

I know the program will work for you.

Why?

Easy. Because the program is designed to teach dogs to listen to you when it really matters rather than on their own agenda.

Find out more about The Dog Calming Code here.

I wish you the best as you welcome your new bundle of joy into your home.

[divider style=’full’]

[blank_space height=’1em’]And if you are still reading this or if you jumped to the very bottom to grab your free gift, here it is… 🙂

It’s the first 5 Chapters of my book called “What the Dogs Taught Me About Being a Parent”, published by Random House in 2013 and selling on Amazon…

It’s been a huge success, and I know you’ll enjoy it.

I even know of people without dogs or kids who have loved it!!!

[blank_space height=’0em’][thrive_2step id=’9424′][thrive_link color=’blue’ link=” target=’_self’ size=’medium’ align=”]↓ CLICK HERE TO Download My 5 FREE CHAPTERS ↓[/thrive_link][/thrive_2step]

Cheers,
[blank_space height=’1em’]

Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

Dog Ownership: 8 Things to Consider Before You Adopt a Dog

When you’re seriously considering adding a dog to your family…

You might start wondering…

What is the best kind of dog breed?

Should I adopt from a shelter?

How do I choose the perfect dog for myself or my family when there are so many different types of dogs out there?

In my personal opinion, there’s no such thing as a bad dog.

There’s no specific breed of dog or dog size that I’d recommend everyone stay away from.

With the right training and care, every dog has the potential to be a great dog.

However, some dogs are going to be a better fit for you and your unique situation.

So, with that in mind, here are some factors which are very important to look for to make sure the dog is a good match…

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#1 Personality

You’d think that people would be concerned about the personality of a dog while looking to adopt, but most people don’t pay much attention to it.

Instead, they tend to focus on age, look, etc.

This is a big problem because the temperament of a dog is what forms the backbone of the relationship that you will have with him or her.

Much like a friend, you need to make sure you get along with the dog’s personality to ensure you will be able to spend a large part of your life with the dog you’re about to adopt.

If your personalities collide, this will make it much harder to bond with your dog.
In order to better show what I mean by personality, I made a video to better explain what I’m talking about. Check it out…

How do you choose the right dog?

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’1′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’1′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWGAJ5gSp3I&feature=youtu.be[/responsive_video][blank_space height=’1em’]

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 #2 Energy levels

A dog’s energy level is very important to consider. Just like people, a dog’s energy level can vary considerably.

For instance, some people love to run triathlons every weekend and train six days a week without fail, while other people enjoy reading more and rarely go for a walk.

On the flip side, some dogs need a good hour walk every single day so they don’t end up frustrated and bouncing off the walls. Others are fairly happy to trot around the garden in a short walk a couple of times a week!

So, it becomes very difficult for you to tire them out. The dog will constantly end up with excess energy back at your home that he or she doesn’t know what to do with.

This often results in excessive barking, following you around the house, running away, and many other behavioral issues.

Always find a dog that matches up with your energy levels.

That being said, no matter how much energy your pup has, all dogs can learn to remain calm and focused when it matters most. Check out how I’ve helped train over 37,000 dogs to do that here! (Or, if you have a puppy, my Puppy Coach training program can help you build a solid foundation!)

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 #3 Size

The size of your dog affects a number of things. Here are a few things to consider.

Food:

Size often plays a big role in how much it will cost to feed a dog. After all, a 2.5 kg Pekinese is going to be a lot cheaper to feed than a 45 kg Rottweiler!

Over a decade, this difference in cost adds up!

Dogs are expensive as is, so make sure you understand the financial cost of what you’re getting yourself into before you adopt.

Space:

The amount of room you have in your house may determine how large a dog you want.

If you live in a tiny apartment a Great Dane is probably not the right dog for you!

Strength:

The size of the dog is a general indicator of the dog’s strength.

If you are older and more frail, then you want to consider how difficult it is going to be to control your dog on the walk if he suddenly starts lunging or pulling.

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 #4 Climate

Something that is often overlooked is a dog’s natural ability to control his or her body temperature.

For example, a Husky is very capable of staying warm in cold climates, whereas a Weimaraner will struggle in the cold.

So, if you’re thinking of having your dog outside or live in an environment where it’s usually cold and it snows a lot, then go for a dog with a thick coat.

On the other hand, if you live in an area with intense heat, it’s not a good idea to adopt a dog that’s designed for cold temperatures.

If you do adopt a dog that isn’t equipped for the environment you live in, make sure you’re prepared to…

  • Pay for regular grooming/shaving.
  • Keep your dog indoors to stay out of the elements.
  • Provide sweaters/coats for cold weather.
  • Provide an exceptional weatherproof kennel for your dog.

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 #5 Grooming

Different breeds of dogs require very different types of grooming care.

If you’re someone who doesn’t like cleaning up dog hair or having to pay for regular dog grooming services, or have allergies, choosing a breed—like a Brittany Spaniel—that doesn’t often shed and doesn’t have an undercoat would be a good option.

If you don’t mind a little extra fluff hanging around, can afford regular grooming, or are willing to learn to groom yourself, a long-haired dog might be a good option for you.

Regardless of what breed you choose, nearly all dogs need to be brushed and bathed from time to time—especially after a romp in the woods.

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 #6 Rescue or Not

A lot of people get hung up on whether they should rescue a dog from a shelter or not.

It’s an understandable debate, as rescue dogs do often require a little more patience, training, and care than dogs you might buy from a breeder.

That being said, in my experience, I’ve worked with many well-mannered, easy going dogs who came from rescue centers.

And, even the dogs that did have mild issues were easy to work with once they were out of a shelter and into a loving home.

It doesn’t matter if you adopt an 8-week-old-puppy or an 8-year-old dog. They are both going to require love, attention, and training. For that reason, I encourage people to consider saving a life and think about adopting, before shopping.

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 #7 Lifespan

One thing that people don’t think about when they get a dog is lifespan.

Some dogs, like Great Danes only have a life expectancy of 6 years. Other breeds, like chihuahuas, can easily live 15+ years.

Generally speaking, the larger the breed, the shorter the lifespan.

If you adopt a puppy with a long life expectancy, you need to be able to make the commitment to care for that dog for his or her entire life.

If you’re worried about the length of time you are going to have a dog and don’t want to be tied down potentially for best part of 2 decades, then I recommend considering adopting a senior dog.

You get the love of a dog in your life, and the senior dog gets to live his/her golden years in a warm, kind, and cozy home…it’s a win-win for everyone.

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 #8 Male or Female?

It typically doesn’t matter a whole lot if you decide to adopt a male or female dog.

The time when it can become more of an issue is if you have another dog living in your home.

Generally speaking, I find that a male/female combination tends to be a better combination than two male dogs or two females in the same house.

This isn’t to say that two males or two females can’t live together in harmony—there are thousands who do, including my own…

It’s simply if you have the choice, I would select the opposite sex for your dog to hang out with.

Whichever sex of dog you choose to accompany your existing dog, I highly recommend you go on playdates with both of them. If possible, have the dog spend a few days in your home around your other dog before you decide to adopt.

This is also true for bringing any dog into your home, regardless of gender.

And a big tip is to first let them meet at a neutral venue like a park rather than your home.

You want to make sure that they’ve met and spent a decent amount of time together before you decide to adopt.

And remember…just like humans don’t get along with everybody, neither do dogs!

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There you have it…my main suggestions for things you need to look for before adopting a dog.

The key is to not rush into things.

Do your research, spend time with the dog you’re considering adopting, and remind yourself of the commitment you’re making before you sign the adoption papers.

The last thing I encourage you to do is meet at least 5 to 10 different dogs before you choose the dog for you.

At the end of the day, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Whatever you decide, get some good training early on and, as always, love your dog!

If you’re looking into getting a dog, I want to help you start on the right foot. In terms of training, I recommend you check out my program, The Dog Calming Code.

This program is designed to help you effectively get your dog to listen to you when it matters most, so he can live a calm, happy, and healthy life!

Enjoy!

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems and Personality Traits

Over the years working as a dog trainer, I’ve probably worked with as many German shepherd dogs as any other breed.

Most often, they are an incredibly loyal breed, are devoted to their owners, and have really sweet and fun personalities. And so, to those of you who love the breed and wouldn’t consider anything but a German shepherd in the future, I understand!

Yet, some people are terrified of them and feel they are dangerous dogs to own.

To those of you that are wary of German shepherds, I understand where you are coming from, too! First off, they are very large dogs and can come off very intimidating.

Second, their instinct to protect their family or property is strong and can lead untrained German shepherds to becoming very protective, aggressive, and scary dogs.

The keyword here is untrained, as any untrained dog–regardless of breed–can have the same problems.

Over the last decade I really feel like I’ve come to understand German shepherds and have personally fallen in love with this breed. I’ve also realized that they’re so misunderstood due to poorly trained German shepherds often ending up in the news and how they are portrayed on TV and in the media.

For this reason, I wanted to write today’s post in hopes that, if you are someone who fears this breed, are looking for help and direction with your dog, or you know someone who is wary of German shepherds, then this honest truth about this lovely breed might change your mind.

Let’s start by taking a look at the breed itself…

German Shepherd Breed Overview

The German shepherd as a breed originated in Germany. No surprises there. But, believe it or not, their name was changed soon after the war. Before the war this breed was commonly called the Alsatian in Great Britain and parts of Europe.

There are still parts of Europe that refer to the German shepherd as the Alsatian; however, most of the world has converted back to calling them German shepherds.

Pretty interesting, right?

As for life expectancy, German shepherds normally live for around 9-13 years.

The color of a German shepherd can range considerably from gray to black to tan, and even a silvery color.

The males grow to be approximately 24 inches at the shoulder and the females tend to be a little shorter, measuring around 22 inches at the shoulder.

As for weight, males average around 80 pounds and the females are a bit lighter at around 60 pounds. There is no denying that these are big dogs!

Now, as I mentioned earlier, German shepherds are known for their physical strength and intelligence. As working dogs, they were bred to be confident and powerful…two traits which often scare people away from wanting anything to do with the breed.

It’s this combination that makes them quite incredible beasts. They have strong muscles. They’re obviously large, and yet, in their minds, they’re also very confident, watchful, and alert.

So, it’s very likely that you’ll really have your hands full if you choose to get a German shepherd, and for those of you who already have one, you may well know exactly what I’m talking about.

Yes, they are a lot of dog to handle. But, I don’t want that to scare you. Any dog, regardless of whether it’s a Labrador retriever or a chihuahua can be a lot of work. All dog breeds require proper training and daily handling. This is especially true when your dog is a puppy as proper training can prevent a lot of behavior issues down the road.

If you have a puppy, I encourage you to check out my Puppy Coach training program.

So, that being said, a German shepherd really isn’t that much more of a commitment than any other dog breed. And, as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort to work with your German shepherd and you know what you are doing, they can turn out to be incredibly beautiful, gentle, and loving pets.

I know this for a fact, as I’ve spent many years working with countless German shepherds of all ages and behavioral problems who were very enjoyable to be around. So, here’s a little more about my own personal experiences with German shepherds…

My Personal Experience with German Shepherds

As with any breed, there’s the whole range of different personalities and characters and temperaments that you can come across. But today, I want to share what my general experiences with German shepherds has been like.

I can confidently say that the breed description given to German shepherds is pretty accurate. I have encountered many German shepherds who are physically and mentally strong, courageous, and often have a hard time backing down.

Of course, not all German shepherds fit this description. I’ve come across many who are very fearful and nervous. But mostly, I’ve seen the confident, strong-willed shepherds.

What’s fascinating to me with German shepherds is that, despite a strong personality, they do seem to want to work alongside you. They all seem to have a deep desire to connect with you, work for you, and do a great job.

It’s almost like they want to be your partner rather than work independently. However, this means, if you’re not sure what you’re doing, they will very quickly step into the driving seat, which is a problem. You really don’t want your German shepherd in charge of making the decisions!

That’s where they’re not a dog for everyone, because German shepherds play this game of “Who’s in charge, me or you?” at a very high level. I call it the dog code.

It’s basically the psychology of the dog. They have a code or a set of rules, which they follow. That code decides “Who’s calling the shots around here?” That’s where it can often fall apart for people who don’t know the dog code, but they own a German shepherd dog.

A guy that I knew down the street had an issue with his German shepherd and I happened to know that deep down this German shepherd was a beautiful boy. He wanted to do right, but left to his own devices, he was going to make mistakes.

The guy was actually going to get rid of him after a serious incident and was ready to hand him over to another family because he felt that his dog had tasted blood and that was the end of him as a good dog. It was only by stepping in and explaining a little bit to him about why his German shepherd had actually bitten another animal—a sheep he owned—that he decided to keep the dog.

I explained that it wasn’t the German shepherd’s fault. I said to my neighbor, “This is not Walt Disney.” He basically had the German shepherd and a sheep—believe it or not—almost feeding from the same bowl so it was a recipe for disaster.

I told him that he needed to pull his socks up as a dog owner and start putting into place some really simple training techniques, and it was very effective. Basically, I taught him the dog code! He still has that dog, but I was very tempted to say, “I’ll take him off your hands!” because secretly I knew he’d be a beautiful member of our family. He was still an amazing dog deep down, but you needed to know what you were doing!

Since then, I’ve fallen in love with German shepherds. I could certainly see myself ending up with one in the future. And yes, I would fully trust this breed around my kids, my wife, and my other dogs.

Like I said, with proper training and boundaries put in place, German shepherds are beautiful, friendly dogs. You just have to be willing to put the time and energy into working with this breed of dog (and understand the dog code) so that you don’t end up with some of the most common German shepherd behavioral problems, which we’re going to talk about next.

Most Common German Shepherd Behavioral Problems

Before we dive into the most common behavioral problems associated with German shepherds, I think it’s important to look at where the breed has actually come from.

Over the last century, German shepherds have been used for tracking, search and rescue—especially for the police— and protection and guarding. So, it’s no surprise that a lot of the issues are in this exact area.

They have been intentionally bred for traits such as fierce loyalty, intelligence, and strength.

This leads to one of the first common problems for German shepherds, which revolves around aggression and the need to protect. It’s very possible that an untrained German shepherd would be likely to bark or lunge at other dogs or people, especially on his own property.

It’s not at all that this type of dog is being mean or nasty. In fact, from the dog’s point of view, he believes he’s just doing his job of protecting his family or territory.

It’s a very, very common problem, and, at the end of the day, it is what the German shepherd has been bred to do a lot of the time.

The good news…this behavior can be untrained. Or even better yet, if you’re working with a German shepherd puppy or a young German shepherd, you can easily avoid this behavioral problem. And in case you are wondering, this does not automatically mean, that if you ever really do need help, that they won’t rise to the occasion!

The second issue that I have found to be common for German Shepherds—which I think is probably due to the determined nature of the German shepherd and their size—is pulling on the leash.

When a German shepherd wants to pull, they are very strong, obviously due to their physical design. If you’ve just got a standard collar on them, it can be an absolute nightmare, almost impossible to hold them back when they’re pulling forward so it makes it very tricky.

Once again, with some basic training and a good sturdy harness, this behavior can be easily prevented.

The third most common issue I come across with this breed is biting and nipping, especially with adolescent German shepherds that are around 6 or 7 months of age.

They can be really, really nippy, and they seem to enjoy using their teeth on people’s arms—again, something which has been bred into them in certain areas for certain reasons.

Here’s something I want you to think about though…most dogs around this age range are nippy due to teething and simply have a natural desire to chew. German shepherds are big dogs, so this issue might seem scarier with this breed. I totally understand that.

But, like any other dog, all you have to do is redirect your dog’s need to bite and chew a toy and make it clear from the get-go that biting hands, arms, legs, etc., is not ok.

And for those of you that are wondering, nipping and biting should really stop at or before 4 months of age. So, if your puppy is still doing it past this stage, watch out because that’s not so cool!

The last major issue I’ve noticed while training German shepherds is separation anxiety.

When this breed is left alone, they can become very stressed. This is due to their fierce loyalty to their humans and their desire to stay close to and protect their pack.

When a dog is stressed out due to separation anxiety, he may show a variety of different behavioral problems like digging holes, trying to escape, or barking. You have to remember that these problems are caused because your German shepherd gets upset about not being able to protect you when you’re going.

These problems are annoying, frustrating, and should not be acceptable, but they do happen out of love.

(If you have a puppy, good news! You can curb these issues early before they become a bigger problem with my Puppy Coach Training program! Learn more about the program here!)

Once again, many dog breeds suffer from separation anxiety and will show the exact same behaviors when left alone. This is where the training comes in. Work with your dog to put an end to his separation anxiety, and regardless of whether he’s a poodle or a German shepherd, you’ll be able to put an end to these unwanted behaviors.

The Dog Code

At the end of the day, all of the common issues associated with German shepherds come back to what I call the dog code.”

All dogs have wolf ancestry. And like wolves, all dogs have a family pack mentality and a desire to protect and look after and love each other. I would say the German shepherd follows that dog code to the letter of the law.

So, if you want to have a good German shepherd, you really need to understand the rules of the dog code—and you need to learn those rules quickly.

And because German shepherds are so smart, they are often playing on their “A game.” But, if you’re playing a “B game,” your dog won’t listen to you. With the German shepherd, you need to be playing on your “A game” or an “A+ game.” You’ve got to be an intelligent dog owner.

It’s like a game of chess. A lot of people know how to play chess, but there are masters and then there are grandmasters, and it just seems to me that German shepherds are the grandmasters of this dog code. They will take you to the next level, and you make your move, and they will do something else to outwit you.

Until you actually understand the basics of how to win that German shepherd’s mind, you’re always going to struggle.

If you are looking for a comprehensive training program for your German shepherd pup or a comprehensive training program to stop any of the above listed issues, then be sure to check out my online training program—The Dog Calming Code.

In the program, I give you solutions to a bunch of different dog trainer problems, from fixing aggressive behavior and leash training to recall training and puppy training.

Start using The Dog Calming Code today!

So, that’s my summary of the German shepherd. I hope that you now know a little bit more about their history and why they behave the way that they do.

If you’ve got a story to share about your German shepherd I’d love to hear it! Please share your story in the comments below! I’ve heard a few good ones over the years 🙂

Enjoy,

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Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan

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Recall Training: How to Get a Dog to Come When You Call

There’s nothing scarier than watching your dog run off across the beach, down the street, or through the woods while you helplessly call for him to come back to you without any luck.

It only takes seconds, for a dog to vanish before your eyes—all because your dog is excited and decided to chase a squirrel or heard another dog in the distance and wanted to check it out.

What might seem like fun adventure to your dog quickly turns into panic and overwhelm for you.

You may start thinking to yourself,“What if she gets lost and can’t find her way back?”

Or, “What if my dog get’s hit by a car?”

As a dog parent, I know this feeling all too well. Which is exactly why I stress the importance of recall training—how to get a dog to come when you call—in all of my training programs as well as when I’m working with individual clients.

Not only can recall training save your dog’s life, but it can also keep other people and dogs safe in the event that your dog takes off after a person or other animal.

So, here’s the million dollar question… “How DO you get your dog to come every time your call her?”

Keep reading and you’ll find out…

7 Secrets To Training Your Dog To Come When Called, Every Time!

Dogs and puppies NOT coming when we call them can be one of the most frustrating things!

We ask nicely, we call them, we shout and scream… We even begin to wonder if our dog or puppy has a hearing problem!

Even worse is when they’re running wild at the park and we have an audience watching us…so embarrassing!

Let’s face it, most dogs only come when they want to. You know, when it’s dinner time, when they want a pat or when there’s nothing else going on!

So what can you do to train your dog to come when called? Here’s 7 recall training secrets that will help you out…

1. Tasty Treats

Yes I know, we all hate bribery… BUT trust me on this one thing. If there is ever a time to use food to train your dog, then it’s when we’re developing the recall command.

I’m actually not a fan of using food when it comes to stopping behavioral issues, but this is different. This is asking our dog to do something as fast as they can and we need to reward (or pay) them so that they do it.

Think of the food as payment… After all, would you keep going to work if they stopped paying you?

So, when you ask your dog to stop playing with their best friend and come running–all the way back to you down the beach–they need more than just a pat!

Making sense?

Of course later on we can fade out the food, but for starters it’s ok to use treats.

2. Keep control

One of the most common questions I get asked is what do we do when our dog is running away and won’t come back? And the answer is simple…

There is not a lot you can do.

It’s the same as when a horse has bolted out the stable and is galloping off. They are out of control!

You see there are really only two ways to get our dogs to come to us…

The first way is when we still have physical control of them–so, they’re on a leash or a long line and we can get them to come to us with a bit of encouragement.

The second is that we have a verbal recall, in other words when we call them they listen and choose to come running!

So, if we don’t have a good recall we first need to consider option one by purchasing a line to attach them to. The safest way is to attach the line to a clip on the back of a dog harness.

If it’s just on a dog’s collar and you stop your dog abruptly you can injure your dog, so a word of warning there.

That said. This line will give you the opportunity to keep control and then train the recall – it’s a game changer!

Remember, without control and no recall, our dogs are by definition “Out of control.”

Don’t let that happen.

3. Set your dog up to win

Okay, this is a very subtle concept, yet hugely powerful. Let me first describe a typical scenario that occurs with a lot of dogs…

As soon as your dog is let off leash he runs off, happy as can be. He has heaps of energy and runs away fast. Often your dog may pick up on a smell or see another dog and go visit.

You, knowing that your dog has recall issues, starts to panic and you want to keep your dog under control so you make the decision to immediately try and call your dog back closer. But, your dog is so full of energy and delight at being free that the chance of him coming is next to zero. So why did you call the dog?

Was the dog doing anything wrong?
No.

Was the dog going to run off into the sunset?
No.

Was there any danger?
No.

Is the reason our dogs are off leash so they can run, sniff and play?
Yes.

Was the dog going to have a sniff or a quick play and then follow you?
YES!

In this case, we’re MUCH better off waiting until our dogs have had a quick run around and are coming TOWARDS us before calling them. One they’ve had a bit of freedom, then you can crouch down, give him a treat and let him go.

This is the concept of “Setting the dog up to win.”

We need to let our dogs have fun and call them only when we know they are going to come. Less is actually more. So only call your dog a few times. That keeps it special.

If your dog is totally focussed on something such as another dog, try just giving him a bit more time or maybe move closer to him or go and get him calmly.

Remember good dog trainers NEVER call the dog when they know they aren’t going to come!

4. Give one clear, constant command

Let me ask you a question…

How many different names, phrases, or voices do you use when you call your dog?

Come on, be honest! Most people have a whole selection of commands. Some when the dog is in trouble, some when there is a treat coming. And the truth is that all these different words, terms, and tones of voice just add to our dog’s confusion.

We really just want one word or phrase that we use every time we ask a dog to come and we want it to be in the same consistent tone. This word or phrase should mean “Come here and I’ll put food in your mouth and then I’ll let you go and play again”.

The more phrases, voices and sounds we use the more inconsistent it is for our dog or puppy. I know it’s not always easy, but staying calm and using a consistent command, even when our dog isn’t coming, is crucial if we want him to come.

And whatever we do, don’t tell them off when they finally arrive, just clip the leash on and ignore them. It’s so easy to instantly ruin a great recall when we scold them angrily when they finally do come. It becomes a vicious circle and the next time we call them they’re even less likely to come.

So remember: That one clear command needs to mean “Come here and I’ll put food in your mouth and then I’ll let you go and play again!”

5. Use the (HUGE) power of random rewards

Why do people play the lottery? To maybe win ten bucks? No…of course not.

Everyone’s playing to win the ten million dollars. We want to win HUGE and that’s what gets us hooked and coming back for more.

And guess what… It’s the same with our dogs! If they never know when they’re going to win next, or what they’re going to win, they’ll keep playing.

So, it’s random rewards that work so much better than just using the same food every time. There’s a huge difference in performance between a dog who knows the reward is just a dry biscuit at best (probably the same dry biscuits they ate for breakfast) and a dog who thinks they may get a piece of that yummy sausage, a morsel of cheese, or their favorite treat.

Just like humans… I know what I’d do for one million dollars compared to what I’d do for a single dollar.

And, just remember, the key is to keep our dogs guessing. They shouldn’t know which of the treats they are going to get. That’s the random bit!

Now, one simple way to do that is to have all the treats in a little bag or pocket and only bring the treat out once your dog has arrived. That way they can’t see what the random reward will be. And sometimes give your dog more than 1 little piece (Yep, small pieces is better) and sometimes give your dog 5 little pieces of different treats in a row. That’s random.

The day you take half a chopped up sausage, a little piece of cheese and some other yummy treat you will see what I mean. You won’t be able to get your dog to leave your side!

One sure way to win your dog or puppy’s heart is through their belly!

6. Increasing the motivation

Now this secret to success is understanding how to increase your dog’s motivation and drive to work for YOU.

Very simply… a hungry dog will work for food. A dog who is full will generally lose interest.

So, try taking your dog for a walk before you feed him. This way they’re hungry and far more motivated by the treats. Over time, you’ll start to realise that you actually have breakfast in your pouch and they have to “work” for it. It becomes a game 🙂

And most dogs LOVE running and eating so it should be fun! It’s actually much better for a dog to eat meals AFTER any vigorous exercise for the same reason it’s not good for humans to exercise straight after a large meal.

7. Consider the use of a professional dog whistle

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Have you ever wondered why so many farmers use dog whistles? And why more and more professional dog trainers are starting to use them?

The answer is simply because they’re easy to use and they work! In fact, they’re one of the most useful tools when used correctly.

Here’s why:

The whistle has a constant sound. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bit frustrated with your dog or in a rush or upset, when you blow it the sound that emanates is constant. And your dog responds to that neutral sound very well.

Whistles are easy to use. A professional dog whistle is very easy to blow (be careful of the metal ones when it’s really cold though as I’ve had them stick to my lips).

The sound of a whistle travels a long way, a lot farther than you can shout. Voices don’t travel that well, especially if you have a quiet voice. The whistle that I use can travel up to 500 feet and it’s gentle on your vocal chords!

Easy to hear. Good dog whistles operate at a high frequency. This means that they can pick up the sound easily and it’s appealing to them, but not at all harsh on the human ear.

The high pitch also cuts through all the background noise such as other people shouting, wind, trees and bushes because it’s such a unique sound.

Using a whistle saves your voice. You never need to shout or raise your voice in front of people ever again.
Fresh start. For many people the quickest way to develop a great recall is to start again with a fresh sound. The whistle gives us this chance.

For more info in the 7 secrets to recall training, check out the full blog here.

How to Train Your Dog to Come Every Time

How to train your dog to come every time with Doggy Dan

Recall training is all about getting your dog to return to your side on command. And in theory it’s so simple. You call your dog and they come running towards you wagging their tail.

Yet in reality so many people struggle with this. Unfortunately it results in dogs being walked only on by leash their entire lives, or worse still, they aren’t walked at all for fear of them never coming back.

To discover how to get your dog to come every time you call, take a listen to this podcast from Doggy Dan himself.

For additional info, check out the blog in full here.

How to Get Your Dog to Sit, Wait, and Come!

We all love it when our dog comes first time (I call this the recall) but it doesn’t always happen that way and it doesn’t happen overnight.

To develop an amazing recall where you can call your dog from extremely long distances, or off a high speed chase takes time, a strong bond and a dog that really listens and does what you say even though sometimes they would rather do something different.

I am proud to say that I have called my dog off a high speed chase when she caught sight of a bunny and bolted. On my call she stopped, turned and came straight to me. And as you can see in the video below, I’ve called my dogs from the neighbors yard. This is something to aim for and with everything, practice makes perfect!

Watch the recall video now…

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Pretty neat, right?

It might look easy, but this type of recall training took some work—even for me as a dog trainer. This type of command training simply doesn’t happen overnight.

So, while you’re working with your own dog, here’s a few things I want you to think about while working with your dog…

What your praise is worth? You decide the value of your own affection, pats, cuddles and praise. Does your dog just get it for free?

Make everything on your terms. Never give your dog a pat, cuddle or affection on its terms or you are making it worthless in your dog’s eyes.

Recall training starts at home. Calling your dog around the house is the start of the recall.

Call your dog once. Never call your dog lots of times. Make sure that your dog has heard, then treat or ignore.

Encourage. You can encourage your dog to keep coming by saying the words, “good girl, good girl” in a high energy voice.

Use a gentle voice. Your voice should be soft, gentle and encouraging. Not threatening. The quote, by horse whisperer Monty Roberts, sums it up: “Use as little as possible, but as much as necessary”. You can always use a more commanding voice when you need to outside, off leash.

Motivate your dog. Find out what your dog loves and start by using this
practice training before dinner. This way your dog is hungry and very motivated.

Use some of your dog’s dinner to train. Take a portion of what your dog receives for his dinner and use it to train so he is not over fed.

For additional tips and tricks, read the entire blog post here.

The last thing I want to mention that may be helpful to you is The Dog Calming Code program. This program is designed to teach you to teach your dog how to calm down and listen to your instruction when it matters most.

Check out The Dog Calming Code here.

(Or, if you have a puppy, you might want to get started with my Puppy Coach training program here!)

I wish you the best as you work with your pup!

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~Doggy Dan

Begin a Dog Training Career: What it Takes to Become a Great Dog Trainer

If you’ve thought about becoming a dog trainer, but aren’t quite sure you have what is takes to become a great dog trainer, you’re not alone.

In fact, there are tons of dog-lovers around the world who dream of living a life where they get up every morning and actually get paid to work with their favorite animals in the world–dogs!

The thing that stops them: They don’t believe that they are capable of following such a career path. They wonder things like…

“I own a dog, but do I really know enough about dogs to train professionally?”

“Am I too old to learn how to train dogs?”

Or even, “Will people respect me and believe that I could successfully train their dog?”

Sound familiar? If so, here’s the truth that I want you to know…

Many dog lovers are capable of becoming a dog trainer. Maybe even YOU.

As with any passion or career there are a few core skills and traits that will set you up for dog training success. To discover what those skills are and to see what it takes to become a great dog trainer, keep reading…

Great Dog Trainer Skillset #1– Communication Skills

Often people jump into dog training programs with the idea that they will only be responsible for interacting with the animals they are training.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most dog behavioral issues are caused by the owners doing something that causes the problem! (Sometimes there’s actually nothing wrong with the dog at all!)

So, dog training is really primarily about knowledge transfer, or as I like to call it, dog owner education. For this reason, every consult you are a part of will involve working with the owners of the dog you are training. And your role is to get them to change how they interact with their dog!

Great Dog Trainer Skillset #2– Organization Skills

Becoming a dog trainer often means starting up your own business. And doing this requires a certain about of organizational skills.

From start to finish, there’s a lot of moving pieces involved in establishing a business. You’ve got to be able to keep track of all your legal documents, build a website or manage someone that can do that for you, market yourself, and manage your client list–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

It may sound a little overwhelming at first. But, as long as you have good organizational skills and keep track of everything happening around you, you have no reason to worry.

Great Dog Trainer Skillset #3– People Skills

As a dog trainer, you are going to spend a lot of hours spent each week interacting with people from all different walks of life.

And if you don’t enjoy being around people or are triggered negatively by many different personalities and behaviors, becoming a dog behaviorist while using the approach that I use may not be the ideal career for you.

The better I’ve become with people, the better I’ve been able to educate and share knowledge that has helped shape the behaviors of my clients’ dogs.

When this is done successfully, the results of your training methods will last much longer, making your consults an enjoyable and rewarding experience for you, your client and the dog that’s involved.

It’s fair to say that not only do I get great results working with dogs and their owners, but we also have a great time.

And now for some important traits…

Great Dog Trainer Trait #4– Having a Love for Helping People

A big part of being a dog training specialist is having the desire to help empower the owners, as well as help their dogs become happier and more relaxed.

I can’t stress how important this is.

If you don’t truly care about the dogs and their owners, you’ll find yourself just rambling through consults wanting them to end, and they will ultimately end in failure. This will make future consults difficult. It will also destroy your reputation as a credible dog trainer.

Not to mention, people aren’t stupid. They will be able to pick up on if you’re doing a consult just for the paycheck.

Not good.

It’s also fair to say that the dog you’re working with will know you’re in a rush and that never helps…calm is king!

Sometimes when you are working with a dog you simply need to go overboard, you need to go above and beyond to help people out. If you really care and want to help them and save their dogs then this part happens naturally.

You won’t find success as a dog behavior training specialist until you truly care about the emotions and feelings of both the dogs and owners you work with.

This is when you get to make a difference in the lives of people.

When you care, you form stronger bonds with clients. And, eventually, word that you truly care gets around and people appreciate it.

This is what drives a successful dog training career.

Great Dog Trainer Trait #5– Having A Passion and Love For Dogs

I know, you’d think “loving dogs” is a common-sense trait when it comes to pursuing a job as a dog trainer. But it’s an important trait I feel people need to reflect on before making the decision to train dogs.

Anybody can “like” dogs or tolerate them. But, not everyone is truly passionate about them.

As a dog trainer, you may end up working all day long with dogs so it’s important in this line of work.

If you enjoy a half hour of playtime with your family pet, but get bored after that playtime is up, you’re probably not super passionate about dogs.

On the other hand, if you can’t get enough of hanging out with your dog, learning about what makes him tick, going on walks, cuddling on the couch and playing in the backyard–well, that’s a good sign that you truly have a passion for working with dogs.

Another sub-trait of a dog lover is the ability to love all types of dogs.

If you only love certain breeds or want to work with certain breeds, you’re going to struggle to connect with a lot of clients fur babies.

Just a quick piece of advice: You don’t need to have had a lot of experience with dogs before you start training. What’s important is that you love dogs and are open to working with different breeds.

And in case you are wondering, yes, dogs are incredibly smart. If you don’t really love a dog, they will know it–you just can’t fool them!

This will have a negative impact on your consult. (Something I’ll help you with in the course!)

So, before you sign yourself up for working with dogs all day long, make sure you’re truly passionate about them.

Great Dog Trainer Trait #6– Having The Ability to Stay Focused, a Determination to Overcome and a Positive Attitude

Whatever you want to achieve in life, you must have the right mindset.

The more focused, determined and positive you are, the higher chance you have for succeeding as a dog behavior specialist.

Having these traits really becomes important when you find yourself in the middle of a tricky consult.

I know from personal experience that you’re going to be thrown all sorts of curve balls–from clients that want to pull you off track to dogs that are more difficult to connect with.

The good news…

The more you can stay focused, determined and positive, the greater the chances are that you find success.

When you own a dog training business, things are bound to get rocky from time to time.

When you hit a downward, turn you have to be able to focus and stay with it.

Are you able to raise the bar when it’s time to take your business to the next level?

Can you change and adapt depending on the different situations you’re thrown into?

If your answer is YES to these questions, I have no doubt you’ll be able to succeed as a dog trainer.

If you have these skillsets and traits, then I have no doubt that you’d make a great dog trainer and I’d love to share more with you about my Dog Trainer Academy program.

Find Out More About Becoming A Dog Trainer.

And, of course, if you’re interested in becoming a dog trainer, it’s important to have a solid training foundation under your belt. If you’re not sure what the best dog training practices are, I advise you to take a look at my program called The Dog Calming Code.

View the program here!

This program will help put you on the path to kindly training pups with any type of behavioral issue!

Cheers,

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~Doggy Dan

How to Stop Dog Barking: Doggy Dan’s Ultimate Guide

Out of all the bad dog behaviors that exist, how to stop dog barking has to be one of the most frustrating issues to deal with.

Think about it…

If your dog has a barking problem, it’s unlikely that you’re able to control when he barks. This can lead to his howling keeping you up at night, his barking interrupting your favorite TV shows, or even his unnecessary barking waking up small children from naps during the day.

Barking is also scary to some people who are not familiar with dogs. And your dog’s constant barking might scare friends and family who come to visit you at your home. That’s no fun for anyone.

Or even worse…if your dog’s insistent barking carries on day in and day out and you live close to other people, it’s possible that your neighbors could call the cops for noise disturbances.

It’s heartbreaking, but noise disturbances are a big reason for dog’s being taken out of their loving homes.

Barking can be a big issue and one that is a huge frustration to dog owners I work with

But here’s the good news. There’s no barking problem, no matter how big or small, that can’t be fixed!

And today, I’m going to give you some valuable tips, tools and resources you can use to stop unwanted dog barking behavior starting today.

Let’s start with the basics…

Discover the Simplest Way to Stop ANY Barking Without Hurting Your Dog or Puppy

First of all, we have to identify WHY your dog is barking, because the solution we use depending on your dog’s barking problem is not always going to be the same.

After all, you’d never use the same approach to stop a child who was shouting out for help as a child who was screaming at you for more chocolate, now would you?

You see, the reason your dog is barking is because he is not happy about something.

What is he not happy about?

Right now, I’m going to share with you the four most common reasons that dogs and puppies bark.

It’s not a comprehensive list, but most dogs and puppies will fall into one of these categories. Once you’ve decided which one best describes YOUR dog, then take a look at the action plan to put an end to it once and for all.

Sound like a plan?

I should add here that many years ago (when I was pretty new to dog training), I used to think that barking could all be sorted out with the same approach. Now I’m a few years older and wiser (hee hee), and I can see the error of my ways.

I’ve realized it’s so much easier to stop barking if you FIRST correctly understand why your dog is barking. And then apply an appropriate solution. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

So, here are the main reasons a dog will bark and how you can get started to make things better for you and your dog.

1. Barking Because Your Dog Wants Something

This type of barking occurs when your dog wants something, rather like a nagging child.

She’s not happy and she’s letting you know. So, it could be that she wants to come inside, be let out of the crate, be given some food, or she simply want your attention.

Ever had your dog tell you to speed up with dinner? Yep? Well that’s what I’m talking about.

How do you fix this?

Don’t reward bad behavior.

The key here is that you must not reward any bad behavior. For example, if your dog is barking outside to come inside, don’t let her in (I know it’s tempting and you don’t want to upset the neighbors). If you reward her with what she want, then it will happen again and again.

Think of it as a little short-term pain for some long-term gain!

Simply wait and ignore your dog until she’s calm and then open the door. She’ll get the message pretty quickly.

Imagine a child shouting at you to do something…would you just give in to them? No…hopefully you would wait until she was were calm. It’s the same approach.

(Now if you are thinking “Well that won’t work with our little Rover, because he NEVER gives up,” then there are a lot of other tips and tricks which will convince even the most stubborn barking dogs that it’s best to be quiet, which I’ve added at the end.)

2. Barking Because Your Dog Thinks He Is in Danger

This type of barking can occur inside or outside the house.

However, to keep things simple, let’s imagine that it’s inside the house. Your dog hears a noise and jumps up, runs over to the window, and starts barking at the people outside your home.

Of course, your dog could be barking at other dogs, a noise he’s heard, or something as small as a bird in a tree.

Whatever it is, imagine that there’s no need for your dog to respond with barking.

And what we want to communicate to our dogs is…“There is no need to bark.”

But first, let’s look at where it all goes wrong! Now what typically happens here is:

Your dog barks…

You shout something at him (in a very authoritative manner)…only to find that your dog barks again even louder, and it all starts to escalate!

Eventually, you end up with you shouting your head off and your dog barking back at you,“I’m barking as loud as I can!”

Sound familiar?

How to fix this problem…

Stay calm and check it out.

What’s happening is your dog is mirroring your energy. So, rather than wind your dog up, let’s calm him down.

When she barks, simply say something like “Thank You,” in a VERY gentle voice (rather like you would whisper in somebody’s ear).

Then if he continues with the barking, go and take a look out the window and again say “Thank You” very softly, before walking away. (Now I know this may seem odd, BUT it makes total sense to your dog – I promise!)

What you’ve just done is checked out the danger (even if it was just a bird in a tree) and calmly communicated to him using your body language, the tone of your voice and your energy that there’s no need to worry.

If he continues barking after you’ve done this then you can very calmly pop him into time out for a couple of minutes.

Of course, with all dog training, the more your dog takes notice of YOU the better! (Something I’ll explain a bit more later on). So, if your dog is not taking notice, then we need to go back a couple of steps and get his focus and attention first!

3. Barking When Your Dog Is Left Alone

This type of barking is what’s generally known as “separation anxiety barking” because your dog becomes anxious after separation.

I should add here that this stress results not only in barking, but can also manifest in destructive behavior, chewing, injuring themselves, escaping, and excessive digging.

The great news is that the following approach will remove the cause of the problem and with it the stress. So, all of these issues will disappear.

Now, I should point out that this barking is NOT “naughty behavior” as many people think, nor has it anything to do with boredom which is why using a shock collar to try to stop this behavior is such a cruel idea. Let me explain.

Imagine you were sitting at home looking after your young child and suddenly noticed the toddler out on the street! What would you do?

Of course, you’d rush out and get her.

But…what if the doors were locked and you couldn’t get out?

Would you sit down, relax and have a cup of tea? Of course not. You’d shout for help and call your baby back, or try and break free so you could get back to her.

And THIS is why your dog becomes stressed.

You see, when our dogs think they are in charge, and responsible for looking after us, they automatically get very stressed when you leave. That’s why it only occurs when you are not there.

Here’s what to do…

Become the Pack Leader.

Now in this situation, I want to give you an overall idea of what to do and what not to do.

The key thing is to realize that your dog or puppy’s barking has got NOTHING to do with boredom! This means that trying to keep your dog occupied by leaving bones down and loads of chews and toys stuffed with peanut butter is unlikely to work.

In fact, it can make things much worse, so pick up the food.

Really, if it solved the problem everyone would say, “Hey, your dog’s barking—leave a bone down!”

Instead, what I would focus on doing is giving your dog the message you are the Pack Leader and there is no need for them to worry about where you are.

Now, one way you can do this is by leaving your home calmly and then coming home calmly and ignoring your dog. (I know this may sound a bit harsh to some of you, and it may not be what you want to do, but this advice is all about doing what’s best for your dog and how to stop the barking!)

Also, remember that they are animals, and just like ignoring the cat or a goldfish when you enter the house, it will not result in the dog being upset.

In fact, this is one of the key ways you can HELP your dog relax when you are not there.

It gives your dog the message that YOU are in charge, not him, and as explained above, it will help him stop worrying about you when you are not around. When you’re ready, you can always call your dog over to you, on your terms, for love and cuddles.

Now of course there’s a lot more to becoming the Pack Leader. It’s an essential key to having a happy, obedient dog, which I’ll touch on later.

4. Over-Excited Barking

The fourth type of barking is over-excited barking.

The best way to think of it is to imagine some children playing. As kids start to have fun they get excited, they start shouting and then start yelling with excitement.

They are NOT being naughty, but it can be really annoying, and it’s certainly something you want to keep a handle on.

Now of course with children, shouting at them does NOT work! And… it’s the same with dogs.

If the barking is starting to get out of control as they race around the garden playing, here’s what to do…

Use Calm Actions.

First, you need to step in and take control of them calmly without a word and then demonstrate calm energy by doing the calm freeze.

Here’s how it works…

The Calm Freeze:

  1. Crouch down.
  2. Take your dog by the collar, using an underhand grip, under the chin, palm facing up.
  3. ‘Say nothing, look away, and breathe slowly and deeply.
  4. Hold him for a couple of seconds until he is calm.
  5. Then release the hold and stand up…
  6. He will be much calmer.

Watch how the calm freeze works now…

To get a few more tools you can use, I encourage you to check out the rest of the blog post here.

Barking When Left Alone

One of the most common barking problems I encounter when working with dogs is separation anxiety barking like we discussed above. Because it’s such a big problem, I want to focus on this issue by itself for a few minutes.

It’s so important, in fact, that I created a podcast on the issue I think you’ll enjoy. Take a listen…

So, what’s in this podcast? Well let me explain:

Understanding the Cause

The first thing that I explain is the reason behind why most dogs bark when they are left alone. Very often, we assume or think that it is our dog’s way of showing us that he is bored or just being naughty; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, a good way to test out the bored theory is to ask yourself if your dog is bored when you are at home…

If he is calm and relaxed most of the day, then the chances are that your dog is not simply bored! (And dogs are not naughty for the fun of it, so that rules that out.)

The Two Main Causes

The two main scenarios that cause your dog to bark are trigger barking and separation anxiety.

They are very different scenarios. Trigger barking is where something sets your dog off and your dog simply does not stop. He is stressed and just keeps on going.

Whereas separation anxiety doesn’t need a trigger to get your dog barking. He simply becomes stressed when you leave and bark continuously.

Inside the podcast, I explain fully what is going on in these two situations and explain what the solution is.

Other Techniques

There are so many approaches to solving barking but most of them do not go to the root cause of the problem. In some situations, they can certainly help and are worth trying, however, I would recommend them only in conjunction with the basic solution that I have put together. On their own they are very unlikely to work.

Here is a short list of some things that impact your dog’s barking when he’s alone…

  • Exercise – does it help, is it the solution?
  • The Environment – the impact that making your dog comfortable can have.
  • Herbal remedies vs drugs – would I recommend them?
  • Music, TV – whether it can help your dog.
  • Inside vs outside – where is best for your dogLarge area or small – what will work best.
  • Why harsh methods that just try to “stop the.
  • barking” are missing the point.

To get all the remaining information you need on this topic, click here to read the entire blog post.

The Art of Remaining Calm: How to Stop a Boston Terrier Dog From Barking

Believe it or not, there are dog breeds that are more prone to having bad barking habits than other breeds. Which is exactly why I wrote the following article that focuses on the Boston Terrier breed…a dog that is known for being a bit too yappy.

That being said, it’s possible that any dog can have a barking problem.

And just because I used a specific breed in this example, doesn’t mean that the techniques I’m about to share with you won’t work with other types of dogs.

So, regardless of whether you have a terrier, a pit bull, or a border collie with a barking problem, I hope you’ll be able to use my example and implement the tools and techniques I’m about to share to help your dog overcome his barking problem.

Let’s jump right into it…

There Are Lots of Reasons Why a Dog Barks

Some dogs are simply over excited, some are being protective, and other times a dog simply wants something.

In this video below, I’m going to show you how to stop a Boston Terrier dog from barking.

Here’s some background information before we go any further…

In this video, Little Bella is barking to get attention, and she is excited and is trying to get my dogs to play. What I love to watch in this video is how Peanut, my larger dog, behaves.

Her body language and energy give me clues as to how best to deal with this and many other situations.

Here’s a quick overview of how Peanut handles different types of barking that I’ll show you in the video…

1. The Noisy Dog

Sometimes, as in this situation, if a dog is just barking too much for attention and fun, Peanut will ignore her and keep ignoring her until she gives up. Peanut remains completely calm and relaxed throughout the whole process. It helps Bella calm down.

2. The Space Invader

If a dog is being rude and is in her face barking, she will give a warning snap to the dog to back away and knock it off. As soon as she has done it, however, she is as calm as can be again. Relaxed and quiet.

3. A Dangerous Situation

If a dog is barking aggressively and there is a potential threat, Peanut will calmly and quietly walk away and give space to the other dog. Sometimes she has walked over 100 meters away before lying down. Very often the other dog, upon seeing this, will relax and chill out.

Enough explanation…check out the video now!

How to stop a dog barking

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Interesting, isn’t it?

For additional information, I invite you to read the blog post in its entirety here. 

I’ve also written another breed specific post on Bichon Frise barking. Once again, the techniques I share will work on any breed of dog, so I encourage you to check out that blog as well for additional information.

Barking is an annoying habit, but it doesn’t have to last forever.

If you’re looking for a solid plan to help resolve your dog’s bad barking behaviors, or you simply want to set a foundation that will prevent your dog from developing a barking habit, I recommend that you look into using my program call The Dog Calming Code. (Or, if you have a puppy, get started with my Puppy Coach training program!)

Click Here To Learn How To Stop YOUR Dog Barking Today

You’ve got nothing to lose…purchase The Dog Calming Code today to put an end to your dog’s barking behavior today.

Cheers!

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~Doggy Dan

How to Overcome Your Fear of Aggressive Dogs to Become a Dog Trainer

If you’re somebody who’s thought about becoming a dog trainer, but you’ve been put off because you’re concerned about the dangers of working with aggressive dogs, you’re not alone.

In fact, I encounter people every day who absolutely love dogs, but who also have fears about working with them–especially if they have aggressive tendencies. If you’re that person, this blog is definitely for you.

Inside my Dog Trainer Academy, I’m currently working with lots of people who are training to become dog trainers. And believe it or not, dog aggression is one of the key concerns this group worries about as they are pursuing a career in dog training.

Crazy, right? But it makes sense.

As a dog trainer, it’s likely that you’re going to encounter an aggressive dog from time to time, so it’s really important to be prepared and know how to handle the situation.

For that reason, dog aggression is an issue that we’ve spent a lot of time going over. And we’re constantly having conversations on how to keep yourself safe, the owner safe, the dog safe, and the public safe while working with aggressive dogs.

The last thing anybody wants is anything going wrong.

Here’s what I want you to understand though…

Chances are that your thoughts about the dangers of becoming a dog trainer are far worse than the reality of the risks you’ll actually encounter while working with dogs.

Let me just give you an example of what I’m talking about. If somebody told you to cross a very busy road, it may seem dangerous at first.

But, after a little thought, you realize it’s really not that dangerous as long as you take all the safety precautions like using a crosswalk, stopping in the meridian if cars are coming or waiting until traffic quiets down before you attempt to walk across.

However, if you’re told to just run across it blindfolded, that’s crazy dangerous.

It’s the same with dog training.

When you’re working with an aggressive dog, depending on the safety measures you take, it can be as dangerous as you want.

As you’re going to see in this blog post, it’s possible to make working with aggressive dogs incredibly safe. That’s why, even after working with several thousand dogs, I’ve only ever had a couple of tiny nips despite the fact that many of the dogs I was working with were very aggressive to humans.

So, here’s what you need to know so you can overcome your fear of aggressive dogs and become a dog trainer…

First of all, it’s important to put appropriate safety precautions in place for any dog you’re working with–even if he doesn’t have aggressive tendencies. Any dog, regardless of whether he is big, small, old, young, aggressive or even happy, can bite.

If you make mistakes and you put a dog in the wrong situations, it’s possible for any dog with teeth to nip.

So, you always want to take safety measures and play it safe. Usually this involves keeping the dog at a distance where they feel safe and can relax. So it may be that they are out in the garden or they are inside but on a leash away from you. Ensuring you set this up before you even enter the property will keep you safe.

The next thing is that you want to show people exactly how they should be working with their dog when a new situation arises.

In other words, when you turn up as a visitor, you’re a great example of how they should handle their dog and work with every visitor. You don’t want to be saying, ‘Oh, I’m special so I’m going to do this, but don’t ever let your visitors do this!’

You want to be showing them exactly what it is that they should do when people turn up. For example, this may mean that you instruct the dog owner to put the dog outside or on a short line, until the visitors come in and the dog settles down.

It’s all about playing it very, very safe. People appreciate this sort of sensible approach, the dog calms down, you can relax and everyone is happy. Remember you are not on a reality T.V show here trying to impress and entertain the viewers!

The third thing, is the concept that you really don’t want to take any chances because if a dog does bite, everybody loses. The dog loses because now he’s got a black mark against his name.

The dog owners are disappointed. They paid money and now the dog has bitten. And you’re all feeling bad or not happy because you’ve got a bite mark, and everybody loses.

How do you play it very safe? Once again, if it’s a very aggressive dog things are going to take time and perhaps the solution is to use a muzzle in certain unavoidable situations and until you start making progress with the dog. It’s ok to take it slow and use aids that ensure everyone stays safe.

If you have even the slightest bit of worry that a dog is going to bite or attack, protect yourself by setting the situation up safely before the consult even begins. It’s that simple, and everyone wins that way.

The three things we just talked about are important when you’re heading into a consult with people that truly have an aggressive dog.

But, want to know a little secret? A lot of times people classify their dog as aggressive, and it’s simply not true.

It’s very possible that you’ll get to your client’s home, sit down, have a cup of tea, chat with the client and then realize the dog they need your help with is a beautiful dog who is friendly with 99% of people.

The reason they need your help and have classified the dog as aggressive might be as silly as the dog growled at someone who was antagonizing the dog. In which case, the dog isn’t really aggressive and has every right to be a little peeved at being teased.

At this point, it’s all about educating the human about overstepping boundaries with the dog…and not so much about needing to ‘fix’ an aggressive dog.

Other times, though, a dog may be very aggressive and the owner may say, ‘Oh, he would never bite.’ It’s important that in this situation you go with your gut feeling and not just the owner’s word!

It’s up to you to set expectations and call the shots. If the dog is barking and jumping at the window trying to get at you, it’s totally acceptable to ask the owner to put a muzzle and a line on the dog.

You make the decisions, which in turn will keep you safe.

Dog-on-Dog and Dog-on-Human Aggression

As we move on, I think it’s important that we talk about the two main types of dog aggression.

The first type of aggression is dog-on-dog aggression. The other is dog-on-human aggression, where the dogs are aggressive to humans for some reason.

For the purposes of this post today, I want to focus mainly on dog-on-human aggression. This is generally the type of aggression which scares people away from wanting to work with dogs for a living.

The main type of aggression when it comes to dog on humans is what I call fear‑based aggression, where the dogs are actually scared and nervous.

I’m generalizing here because typically this type of aggression is caused by a mix between a dog being fearful and a dog being a little bit dominant. But mostly, this type of aggression is caused by a dog that is fearful.

Dogs that fall in this category are not looking for a fight. They’re not looking for trouble. However, if they’re put in a corner or if you approach them, they may become so scared that they will snap at you.

If you give dogs with this type of aggression a bit of space, they’re going to back off and back away.

That’s the good news.

Those dogs primarily are going to stay away from you, which means that when you get into their home. if they’re on a leash. you can put them in time out or you can move into the back garden…that sort of thing. They generally calm down once they see that you’re not a threat and then you can bring them back into the room to work with them.

Generally, that’s the way I like to work with these dogs.

The other types of dogs are what I call dominant dogs.

They’re usually very confident dogs who want to be the boss, who want be in charge and who want to control everything. They are certainly more pushy and are more likely to move towards you.

This might sound scary at first, but it’s actually good to know. This means you can prepare ahead of time to keep things safe by asking the owner to put the dog on a line so the dog doesn’t charge at you or try to dominate you.

How My Dog Training Methods Keep People Safe

So, how do my dog training methods actually help these dogs?

Well, first of all, I think it’s very important to understand that, as a dog trainer, I don’t ever say I’m going to come and magically train a dog. I don’t take a client’s dog away. I don’t say I’m going to wave a wand and sprinkle some magic dust into the food bowl.

Every technique I use is an understanding of how the dog’s mind works. I explain to the dog owners how a dog’s mind works. And then, when the owner understands what’s going on with their dog, they are then able to put some training in place that will transform their dog’s behaviour.

It all begins with training, or should I say, educating the owner of the dog. Not so much being hands-on with the actual dog from the get-go.

At the end of the day, dogs have a hierarchy, which is very important to understand. Most times, an aggressive dog (whether they are dominant or fearful) is aggressive because they are making the decisions and they are trying to protect the property or protect their pack.

So, my training method begins by teaching dog owners to let their dog know, ‘Hey, I’m in charge. I’m going to protect the property. I’ll make the big decisions. You can switch off and relax.’

When you do this, the dog’s mind calms right down. It’s almost like you’re saying to them, ‘You can take the back seat. You don’t have to be this decision maker.’

That’s very powerful because, a lot of the time, aggression occurs because the dog’s mind flicks into this overexcited, over reactive state. Once they’re in that very excited and reactive state, it’s very hard to get through to them. This occurs because they believe they’ve got a job to do–they’ve got to protect the property and protect their owner.

So, if you can remove that role, they become far, far more relaxed, and working with the dog becomes far safer.

The foolproof way to keep yourself safe during a consult is to ring the client’s bell or make a phone call to ensure all the safety precautions are in place.

Once the owner puts your precautions in place, then you can turn up at the front door, and do another check before you come in.

It’s possible that you might work with an aggressive dog and never touch him once over the course of the training. And that’s perfectly ok.

Very often, I have said to a person, ‘I’m not going to end up touching this dog today, but I’ll give you the skills and the understanding of how you can transform the dog.’

I’ve rung people after a couple of weeks later and asked, ‘How’s it all going?’ and they said, ‘Absolutely, brilliant! The dog is nowhere near as reactive as he was.’

The amazing thing is most owners are very happy with this approach.

They don’t want high risk. They don’t want you seeing if you can kind of pat their dog on the head just so that you feel like you touched their dog.

They expect you to be the professional. So, when you provide logical, sensible, safe information, they’re very happy. They’re very grateful and you explain that not only are you dealing with the symptoms of the aggression but you’re also going to give them these exercises to help the dog’s mind control, which will deal with the cause of the problem.

That’s reversing this hierarchy, where the dog thinks he’s going to make all these decisions and protect you.

Hopefully, that has given you an idea of how much safer it is to work with these dogs than you probably thought. There are dogs where I’ve turned up and they are meant to be aggressive, and we’ve sat and played and had cuddles, and the person has been amazed.

There have also been consults where I know a dog is aggressive and make it clear that, for my own safety, I won’t be touching the dog. Nothing wrong with that.

The last thing I want to mention is that you are allowed to be choosy about your consults.

When you’re starting up, you may not feel good about taking on a very aggressive dog. That’s absolutely fine. There’s no rule that says you have to accept clients with aggressive dogs.

It’s okay to pass on a consult and say, ‘Hey, I don’t think I’m the right person for this job right now.’

There’s nothing wrong with starting with easier dogs…dogs who are only a little bit aggressive maybe, or smaller, younger puppies.

At the end of the day, the idea that dog trainers are constantly working with aggressive dogs who are lunging and barking and trying to bite savagely isn’t the reality.

Perhaps one in every hundred dogs I come across is actually what I would call aggressive, and with those dogs, I play it incredibly safe. And when I play it safe, the owner can also relax, the dog relaxes and I relax.

When this is done, people can see how you can actually move forward using this slow, patient, logical and sensible approach.

So, don’t let aggressive dogs put you off from pursuing your passion to become a dog trainer.

If you’re still interested in becoming a dog trainer, I’d love to share more with you about my Dog Trainer Academy program.

If you’re not ready to take the leap to become a dog trainer yet, I advise that you take a different route and check out my program, The Dog Calming Code.

This program will give you all the training tools you need to learn the best way to train dogs to remain calm and listen to you when it matters most!

See how I’ve trained over 37,000 dogs here!

Have a great day and thanks for reading this post.

Cheers,

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~Doggy Dan

Best Behaved Dog Breeds: Does Breed Determine a Dog’s Personality?

I often get asked the question, “What are the best behaved dog breeds?”

And here’s my answer…

The idea that a breed can determine a dog’s personality is one of the biggest dog myths in the world. There’s simply not such thing as a “best behaved dog breed.”

For example, people assume that if you own a Pit Bull, he’s definitely going to be tough and aggressive, and if you own a Chihuahua, she’s going to be a yappy princess.

But, the truth is, I’ve met many Pit Bulls who want nothing more than to cuddle with you on the couch, while I’ve also encountered several Chihuahuas who bark, growl and bite every time you go near them.

The bottom line is that a dog’s breed is NOT the most important thing in determining the personality traits or how that dog will behave in the big wide world.

So what factors influence your dog’s behaviour the most?

Today, I’m going to give you my best answer as to what I believe are the 8 most common dog personality traits, along with information on how to determine if that trait is a good match for you as a dog owner or not.

Please keep in mind that I’m picking these traits based on gut instinct and from what I know based on years of working with thousands of different types of dogs.

I also want to point out that none of these character traits are necessarily good or bad.

Yes, sometimes there is a trait, which will make it slightly easier to train a dog, such as having a dog who’s very food motivated versus having a dog who’s not interested in food or treats at all.

However, it’s also easy for a dog to have what may seem like a positive trait–being food motivated–that turns into a not so desirable trait if it goes too far. For example, a dog who will not stop hunting for food or who nips your fingers when you’re trying to give him a treat.

Typically, it’s best to have a dog whose traits fall within the middle ground.

However, there are always exceptions.

A dog with a high prey drive is generally not what people want. You’re probably not looking for a German Shepherd who’s trying to dart out the front door and chase cats down the road. However, sometimes prey drive is desirable. If you’re someone who lives on a farm who’s got a barn and it’s full of rats and mice, a high prey drive is desirable. If you get a Jack Russell who’s got a huge high prey drive and catches the rats like a pro, that’s perfect.

So, as you can see, there are good things and bad things about every trait a dog may have. I think you’ve got the point, so, without further ado, let’s jump into the different types of personality traits.

1. Tough Vs. Soft Dog Personality Traits

The first personality and character trait is what I call “Tough or Soft.” It’s a very simple trait.

How do you know which one your dog is? Easy…

If you shout at your dog or tell your dog off and he immediately cowers back and never does what he got yelled at before again, he’s probably soft.

And, if you shout at your dog or tap him on the nose and he isn’t bothered by it, or even likes it, he’s probably tough.

Note: I don’t ever advise that you yell at your dog, I prefer taking a kinder approach.

Think about it in terms of children.

Some children are very easy to push back into line. You just have to raise your voice a bit, and they don’t want to do anything wrong. Other kids are stubborn and are far more strong-minded. They’ll put up more of a physical fight with you.

This is a very important way to look at it.

If you have a very soft dog, he can be very easy for you to bully.

Again, I certainly don’t like the approach of using force to bully a dog into submission. I’m far more about trying to understand why the dog is doing what he’s doing and how we can help him.

On the other hand, you can’t really bully tough dogs because they push back so hard. So you really have to work a little bit harder and understand them better, how to motivate them, which I think is a great thing.

Being soft or tough also often determines the types of things a dog will enjoy doing.

A soft dog might be a little prince or princess who enjoys sitting on the velvet cushion in the sunshine, watching the world go by. A tougher dog who likes things a bit more rough and tumble may be happier running around a farm.

2. High Vs. Low Energy Dog Personality Traits

Another very important character or trait is how much energy your dog has.

Having the same energy level of your dog is very important.

If you have a dog who needs two hours of exercise per day and you really only like to go maybe twice a week for a little walk, it’s going to be a struggle.

One of the biggest issues I had when I got my little dog Inka was that she was energized and alert 24/7, 365 days a year, and was always in your face.

She would stand there looking at me just waiting, wanting something… usually pets, cuddles and affection.

I’d take her for a walk; she wouldn’t switch off. She’d wander around the house, stand there and look at me.

Now, there are ways to work with these sorts of dogs, which I share in my program, The Dog Calming Code. If you have a 24/7 dog, I urge you to go check it out!

For little Inka, I had to find a way of draining her energy. One thing that helps for her is throwing the chucker ball for half an hour.

It’s the same with kids.

Some kids love to play all day, and they’re still not exhausted while other kids get tired very quickly and need daily naps.

As I mentioned earlier, with all these issues, it’s not so much that it’s good or bad. You just need to find ways to taper your dog’s energy one way or the other.

3. Food Vs Not Food Motivated Dog Personality Traits

The next trait is food motivated dogs vs those dogs that are not interested in treats.

There’s no doubt that dogs that are food motivated are easier to train.

Just think about it… you just use a recall and reward the dog with food when he comes to you. You can use that food so easily to train him.

Again, you can relate this back to kids. For some kids, you can use bribery, a little bit of chocolate to get them to do exactly what you want, like doing their homework.

For kids that don’t care about special treats, you have to be a bit smarter.

In terms of dogs, this might mean rewarding your dog with a special toy, head scratches, or a real special treat, like steak or cheese.

4. Prey Vs Non-Prey Drive Dog Personality Traits

Personality trait number 4 is prey drive.

Some dogs have a huge prey drive. It’s just built-in.

Generally speaking, most people don’t want a high prey drive in their dogs, whether they’re trying to chase cows or cats or anything that moves.

Although some people, like those who live on a farm, might want a dog with high prey drive instincts for specific purposes, such as getting rid of small rodents in a barn.

If you don’t want to worry about your dog pulling you on a leash or running out the door to chase anything that moves, seek out a dog that has a naturally low prey drive.

5. Confident Vs Fearful Dog Personality Traits

Okay, this personality trait is all about confidence.

If you have a dog who is confident and fearless, he’ll be happy to approach new situations. For example, the other day I was in the garage chopping firewood, and my dog Jack comes right up to me as I’m smashing pieces of wood. He doesn’t care.

Then I’m on the ride-on mower, and he’s outside. He’s lying there and the ride-on mower is passing him within about 2 meters, and he doesn’t move.

He lies there and he’s very happy with any strange thing that happens. He’s just curious whether it’s a person turning up who he’s never met before. He’s not scared. He doesn’t have a fearful bone in his body and that does make it easier in many ways.

He’s not going to be a jumpy dog who’s jumping and barking and scared and nervous of things. He’s far less likely to become a fear biter.

On the flip side, you have to manage dogs who are fearful more carefully.

You really have to become what I call the guiding force in their life, the decision maker, or as some people call it the ‘pack leader’.

It’s all about letting a fearful dog know, ‘Hey, I’m in charge. I’m the one that makes the decisions around here.’ That’s how you can really help those fearful dogs.

6. Dominant Vs Submissive Dog Personality Traits

Number 6 is dominant vs submissive.

My dog Jack is by nature the most dominant dog I’ve ever met.

He’s just a born leader. When I watched him as a puppy, I said, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen a puppy so confident with big dogs in all my life.’

He was walking up to my dogs and jumping around like he knew the rules. He knew what the game was, and he said, ‘I can do this.’

The dominant dogs, in some ways, are easier. However, you need to be able to kind of cap them and make sure they don’t start thinking they run the whole house, because then it can go the other way as they start saying, ‘I’ll make the decisions’ or ‘I’m the protector of the home.’

You have to understand how to keep dominant dogs from becoming too dominant, thinking they’re the absolute king of the castle.

You want them to be your wingman or your wing lady– somebody who still listens to you and looks up to you. Jack is exactly that. He absolutely loves me, which is wonderful.

Submissive dogs, on the other hand, can be very easy.

If you know what you’re doing, they’re not so challenging. They’re happy to be submissive to you and to other dogs. They’re happy to clock into the pack, and they’re not always trying to lead.

The thing is, a lot of this is about survival. Sometimes, submissive dogs just find it easier. It’s easier for them to survive, to get through in life.

I often watch that program Survivor, where you can see the person who’s beating their chest and sticking their head out to speak out the whole time, making themselves a target saying, ‘I’m in charge, I’m running the show.’

They’re far more likely to get picked off and get challenged and get taken down. Whereas, people who hang back and don’t shout so much or make so much noise often come through at the end.

The other movie I watched on Netflix is called Vikings. Back in the day, it seems like as soon as you became king or queen, you were a marked man or woman. Everyone was trying to gun for you and take you down, and that’s what happens. The person who’s at the top gets taken down.

Survival is often about not sticking your head up too high, and that’s how it is in the dog world as well. Dogs instinctively know this and that’s why they are happy just being down at the bottom of the hierarchy–it’s easier for them!

7. Desire to Please Vs No Desire to Please Dog Personality Traits

Trait number 7 is desire to please–a trait that actually has more to do with humans.

Here’s why…

I personally think it’s easier if you have a dog who’s easy to please or happy to please, because then you can use your pats and cuddles and affection as a valuable reward.

My little dog called Inker is a very nervous dog, very fearful.

She also has very high energy, which often made it hard to work with her because she always wants to go, go, go, and do more. She is jumpy.

However, what worked well was she was so keen to please. She’d do anything to make me happy, and it is adorable. Pats and cuddles are all she wants, lots of love.

But, if you have a dog who’s aloof and isn’t easy to please, he probably doesn’t really care for your pats and cuddles. This means you really have to establish yourself as somebody that he truly respects and will listen to.

8. Social Vs Nonsocial Dog Personality Traits

Number 8 is all about sociability with other dogs.

We’ve talked about whether dogs are aloof with humans, but this has to do with other dogs.

Think about this…

Does your dog love to play with other dogs? Is he relaxed and confident around other dogs?

Some dogs just love to play and are socialites, and this is great! It makes it much easier to take your dog out to the park because he is happy to interact with other dogs.

The down side…there is such a thing as a dog who likes to socialize or play too much. A dog who is too social might see another dog on the other side of the street and begin barking and pulling on the leash. The dog may also feed the need to sniff every dog and jump in their face, which can easily get them into trouble.

Sometimes it’s just as easy to have a dog who really isn’t that bothered with other dogs, and you can just go for a lovely, relaxing walk. It’s always good that they tolerate dogs, but too keen can be too much.

Which Dog Personality Traits Are Best?

To finish off, I want to remind you that it’s important to celebrate diversity.

Just like people, dogs are all different. There’s not one right or best way to be, It’s diversity and differences, that make both humans and dogs fascinating and interesting.

A lot of these traits also have to do with genetics, breeding, bloodlines and DNA. These things happen at birth.

Little Inker-Tinker was a nervous, fearful, high energy dog. It wasn’t something that we trained into her. It was more to do with nature than nurture. However, the nurture is the bit that we can affect, and now she’s a totally different dog–very confident, relaxed and absolutely adorable.

Once again you can see the similarity with children. Some children are sociable, some children try to please and some children are more confident, which for me just goes to show how similar we really are as animals. We have all these feelings and emotions and personality traits. Dog’s are not that different from humans when you really understand them.

A final note to finish on…

Notice that the breed of the dog doesn’t really have a big effect on personality traits. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a pedigree or a mutt. The personality and character varies within every breed and plays a very small part in how a dog behaves.

There are Collie dogs that don’t have high energy. Some do. In fact, a lot of them do…but some of them don’t. And yes, there are some aggressive Pit Bulls, but the majority are really lovely dogs who simply like to cuddle. It varies.

My other point I want to make is about how to determine character traits.

Traits become more apparent as dogs age, so it’s far easier to spot these character traits later on in life.

So, if you’re thinking of getting a puppy, it’s much harder to spot what the personality and character of your dog is going to be at 8 weeks of age. It’s far easier, for a two-year-old dog.

So, that is the advantage of maybe having a look at a dog who’s older.

But like I said, with a little training, any character trait can be molded and formed. If you have a dog that you’re struggling with, I suggest you check my program, The Dog Calming Code, for some help!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. It’s been a lot of fun for me just thinking about dog behaviour traits. Have a great day and as always, love your dog.

Cheers!

P.S. Let me know your dog’s breed and any key personality traits below and let’s see what we find out about them 🙂

Also, if you’re curious to know where your dog is in the most popular breeds list, you can download the full ranking list below (190 breeds):

[thrive_2step id=’6490′][thrive_link color=’red’ link=” target=’_self’ size=’medium’ align=”]Download The Most Popular Dog Breed List – CLICK HERE[/thrive_link][/thrive_2step]

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~Doggy Dan

Vet Tech Careers: 5 Reasons Vet Techs Make Great Dog Trainers

If you read the title of this blog, and it made you smile or caused you to become intrigued, it’s possible that you work as a vet tech in your local animal hospital.

First of all, I want to say thank you for doing a thankless job.

I know how hard you work to ensure every animal that passes through your care stays safe, happy and comfortable.

And I also know how much unpleasant work you get stuck with, and the fact that you’re willing to come to work every day and do that work to help animals in need is admirable.

So, once again, thanks.

As I continued to think about the work you do, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, there are so many qualities a vet nurse has that would make a person with this profession a great dog trainer.’

Not only do you probably have the right attributes, but having the skills of a dog trainer would also be very beneficial as you handle dogs and work with pet parents every day.

At the very least, being able to offer dog training services either at your vet’s office or on the side as a side job is a wonderful way to continue to make a difference in the lives of the dogs in your community while, of course, bringing in a little extra cash.

It’s possible that you’ve thought about becoming a dog trainer before. Maybe you’ve thought about it lots of times. Or maybe you’re just waiting for the right opportunity to come along.

Well, today I’ve decided to dedicate this post to vet techs who are looking for ways to help dogs outside of the work they do at the animal hospital.

How so?

By becoming a dog behaviourist through the Dog Trainer Academy program—a program I created for dog lovers just like you.

With that in mind, here are 5 big reasons why I believe that techs could make great dog trainers.

1. You Have the Right Attributes of a Dog Trainer

First of all, there are a number of things you do need to have to be a great dog trainer.

One of the most important things that you need to have is a love of dogs, and, obviously, as a vet tech, you have this attribute.

The second thing is that you actually have to like people.

Most vet nurses work with people all day, every day, so you have plenty of experience in that area.

Of course, you may love dogs more than people, and I understand that. However, you’re probably the kind of person who is good at communicating with and listening to people.

Those attributes are key qualities for being a dog trainer: a love of dogs, a love of people and the ability to communicate, listen and explain what is going on.

If you’d like to know a little bit more about why these skills are so important and would make you a natural dog trainer, you should check out this blog post here.

2. You Have Direct Access to a Steady Stream of People Who Need Your Help

One of the biggest concerns many people have is how to get their name out there as a new dog trainer.

Of course, as a vet tech, you won’t have that issue because you’re going to have a steady stream of people coming in and out of your practice, and, as you probably already know, many of them already need help with their dogs’ behavioural issues.

So, it’s not hard to get yourself up and running really quickly with basically what is free traffic by just promoting yourself with business cards or a little flyer here or there. All you have to do is tell people who you are and what you’re doing.

The good news is … when you find success in training a few dogs, it doesn’t take long for word to spread that you know what you’re talking about.

So, once you’ve worked successfully with 10 or 20 people, you’ll have 10 or 20 people who are actually shouting your name out there, telling everybody else what a great job you did and advertising for you.

These people become your sales people.

It’s a fantastic thing to be able to work with your existing clients and promote your own business towards helping dog owners and dogs. Word travels fast.

3. You Already Have a Good Understanding of Dogs

It’s one thing to go from the corporate world to dog training as someone who has never really worked with dogs. It’s a big jump, and I know because it’s the leap of faith I made.

However, as a vet tech, it’s a lot easier for you because you already have lots of dog experience.

In fact, I work with a lot of vets and vet nurses who tell me about their clients and how they need help because there’s nothing wrong with their dogs. This actually says to me that these vet techs can already see that the behavioural issue is caused by the owner, rather than the dog itself. They are already onto it!

So, instinctively, as a vet tech, you already know how to work with animals, almost at a training level. And this training level, the behavioural side of things, is not rocket science.

Once you understand why dogs have specific behaviour problems (I share this with people inside the Dog Trainer Academy), it’s not hard to share it with dog owners. And, if you have the right information, you can provide dog owners with both medical and dog training knowledge.

You already have a lot of great experience than other people who are starting off as dog trainers wouldn’t have.

You also have an understanding of client-dog relationships, which is very important. It’s vital dog trainers are able to come alongside clients and understand the special relationships that people have with their dogs and that owners may be very protective of their little dogs. (I am sure you know what I am talking about!)

4. The Transition from Vet Nurse to Dog Trainer Is Easy

One of the big concerns that a lot of people have is the idea that they will have to quit their job or make a really big lifestyle change to start a career as a dog trainer.

If you were a CEO of an important company or a chef or someone that didn’t already work with animals, that might be the case.

However, as a vet tech, you can continue your current work while also pursuing a dog training career with minimum changes to your existing lifestyle and hours.

You don’t have to make a huge change. And you can start as slowly as you like and take as long as you like!

There’s no need to quit your job. In fact, staying in your current profession gives you a way to consistently gain new clients and share experiences. You can continue to get your name out there while you still have a steady income stream from your current job as a vet tech. And you can certainly make the most out of your connections with the vets.

It’s great to have an opportunity to begin a new career while also minimising the amount of change and risk you’ll have to experience as you transition.

You simply start small as a dog behaviourist with just a couple of clients a week, and then, as your business grows, you may start asking for less and less hours as a vet nurse and actually then finally take the jump and decide to go full-time.

If you have no intention of leaving your current career, you just schedule consults for training in the evenings or weekends to make some extra cash. There’s nothing wrong with training part-time, too! It may be that you love the variety and balance that it brings to your life.

5. Becoming a Dog Trainer Will Make You More Valuable to Your Employer

Becoming a dog trainer is actually mutually beneficial to both you and your employer because it’s quite easy to make dog training an addition to the vet practice where you work.

It’s sort of like a win-win-win. The person who owns the practice is getting the payoff from you attracting new customers. After all, the practice where you work will soon become known as a place where dog psychology is really understood. You benefit financially for offering your services. And dog owners can easily find a reliable place to get help with training their dog.

Everybody benefits, and, with my techniques on how to calm and destress dogs, the vet’s office will be a much happier place for any dog that comes through.

So, there are some ideas as to why I think that you, as a vet tech, are in a wonderful position to become a dog trainer. If I’ve peaked your interest in finding out more, then I encourage you to check out my Dog Trainer Academy program by clicking here.

If you’re still in a place where you’re looking to master your dog training skills before you take the leap to become a dog trainer, then I recommend checking out my program called The Dog Calming Code.

See how the methods in this program have helped me train over 37,000 dogs here!

Have a great day, and as always, LOVE YOUR DOG!

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~Doggy Dan 🙂