Pass The Puppy Please


It’s such a joy to train a 12 week old puppy, they are like a sponge that absorbs everything.

Beckham, a Coton de Tuléar, came with a few problems such as not being house trained and the demand barking issue but she was cute as a button.

After only one accident (which was my fault) she hasn’t eliminated in the house even once. The demand barking took a day and a half to cure because they learn so quickly at this age.

Now let’s go for a walk and oops there is another problem, she seems to bark at every person she sees. Socialization seems to be in order so I knock on every door in the neighbourhood of people I know to play pass the puppy and 2 days later, after meeting about 30 people and many dogs, there is only the occasional barking at strangers. She still needs to meet about another 170 people to be well socialized.

After one week of daily walks and using my 10-second training method she can; Sit, wait, recall (come when called), watch me and walk right beside me without pulling. Now she is ready for her owners to pick her up today. They will finally be able to sleep tonight because the barking all night is finished. She loves her crate.

I love training puppies.


Dog Sense

Jake & Joanne

Its amazing what a dog can sense without any visual cues.  I took Jake and Lucy for a long walk while my wife Joanne had gone out to do some shopping.  After a little over an hour we returned and the dogs were really excited to get home which is unusual.  I didn’t know that my wife had returned because she had put the car in the garage.  When I let the dogs in the house they charged right in and searched for Joanne and found her right away and gave her the full body waggle.

How did they know that she was there?  Did they smell her?  Did they sense that she was there?  Did they feel that I thought she would be home on our return?

Dogs are great at anticipating what we expect of them but they are also amazing creatures that can surprise us with their abilities.


Dog Aggressive Dog Gets Free

I have been working with Massi (Blonde Husky) for 5 sessions now and there is nothing like trial by fire to see if the training/conditioning is working.  I was walking a pack of 5 dogs on Saturday and we were passing the back yard where Massi and Gordon live.  I thought I saw them from a distance but when we got to the part of the park where their backyard is they weren’t there.  I keep walking and then I see the dogs in their neighbors yard.  I’m thinking this isn’t right; the dogs have escaped their backyard.  I didn’t have to wait long, next thing I know they are in the park and running straight for my pack and Massi has no muzzle on, which isn’t good.  I always muzzle her when meeting new dogs but it’s not going to be this time.  I call her name and ask for a sit, she complies.  She then gets right in the face of a Jack Russell/Pug she has never met.  No growling, no lunging and I just reach down and redirect her gaze with my hand because she is fixating on the dog.  Now I am going to walk them back to their backyard without being on a leash.  Gordon inserts himself right into the pack like he’s going for a walk and Massi walks beside me on the right (not her usual side) beside the Pug.  She takes off down the street and I call her and she’s right back beside me.  I lead them to the backyard and get them in and close the gate.  Now I knock on the front door to let the owners know their dogs got loose but are now safely back in their backyard.

I don’t know if it would have been different if it had been someone else (Massi is used to me) but it was a test that we all passed.  I didn’t panic and just took charge over Massi to get control of the situation and it worked just like it should.  Massi is benefiting from the work we have done together.  No bites, not growls and no lunging, this is very good.


Dog Aggressive Dog: Round 3

Dog Aggressive Dog: Round 3 

Wednesday Feb 22, 2012

I take my 2 dogs over to be walked with Massi and Gordon.  Massi is the dog-aggressive dog that I am working with to help her trust other dogs again.  On this occasion I am going to not use a muzzle on Massi when she meets with my 2 dogs.  

I took a very short video of meeting, which is not a great video, because I am concentrating on watching for any signs of aggression from Massi, but it will give you an idea of how it went.   

You will see that when Massi tries to rush in to quickly I hold her back twice.  This is not a leash correction, just holding the leash so she can’t rush in.  Then when they are fairly close I let her move in with no tension on the leash so she isn’t anxious or tense.  It works perfectly and there is no aggression and get my 2 dogs hooked up and go for a walk.  We passed 1 barking dog and there was no sign of tension from Massi, just a head turn. 

Dog Aggressive Dog

Dog: Massi, 9 year old blond Husky.

Problem Behaviour: Bites other dogs.

Possible Cause:  Bitten by another dog about 6 years ago.

Massi lives with a 2 year old Chocolate Lab (Gordon) and gets along fine with him but when she meets another dog her reaction is usually to try and attack the other dog.  The owners wanted me to work with her to try and get rid of this behaviour.  On Feb 5, 2012 I took my 2 dogs over to work with Massi to confirm the behaviour and start a conditioning program to eliminate this behaviour.

Meet Massi:  


Step 1:  Do a little basic training with Massi and Gordon with a clicker, this consists of sits and downs.  Then we introduce the muzzle to Massi, this is done slowly because it has to be put on and taken off several times to make sure it's adjusted correctly, we also want the muzzle to be a good thing so we reward every time it goes on.  After about three times I have a good fit.  Now we do a little more basic training so she is comfortable with the muzzle on.

Step 2:  Now I bring Massi into the back yard where my 2 dogs are waiting so I can see the reaction.  Massi is muzzled and on a short leash.  She makes a move for my dog Lucy and she gets a quick no reward marker which is a sharp EH!.  Now I bring the dogs in close to one another and start doing training with 4 dogs which is basic sits and downs.  After about 5 minutes I let Massi off of the leash and watch the tail, ears and any pillowing.  After about 5 minutes the muzzle comes off and everybody is getting along just fine.  I keep watching for any tell-tale signs of aggression but there is none.

The whole exercise takes about 15 minutes. The dog is not cured but it's a step in that direction.

Feb 15, 2012

Dog Aggressive Dog Round 2

Step 1: Muzzle Massi, this is done very quickly this time and a reward is given after it's secured.  Put Massi on a short leash and take her out the back where my 2 dogs are waiting.  This time there is no reaction from Massi and the Muzzle is removed after 2 minutes.

Step 2:  Take them all for a walk and do a route where we will be passing some barking dogs to create some excitement and see how Massi reacts.  This ended up being a 5 km walk with no reaction (just a head turn) at barking dogs.  Here are a couple of pictures that were taken on the walk, Massi is 2nd from the left in the first picture:



Massi is beside me in the one below.


Massi is not completely fixed but I'll keep working with her and slowly she will be able to trust other dogs again.

Peng the Basenji


We had a Basenji named Peng for day care on Saturday.  An African Barkless Dog that can be an escape artist and will climb fences, if the fence is too high they will dig under it.  So it was no surprise when my wife and I were in the garage and all of a sudden the door started to open.  We both looked at each other and then it dawned on us what was happening.  The Basenji was trying to escape and had pawed the remote until the garage door opened.  It hadn’t thought it through because the door to the garage wasn’t open.


Here is a link to some more pictures of Peng the Basenji:



Interactive Dog Boarding

We are just launching our new business called Interactive Dog.  We have a different approach for boarding dogs, we don’t put them in cages and only bring them out to do their business.  Our model is to have the dogs interact with other dogs while being supervised.  This will be a social experience for your dog.  We also take them a 4 km (minimum) walk every day.  We only take in a few dogs at a time so that your dog will not be stressed out when you pick them up.  We are currently offering two different options:


Daycare: 8 AM to 10 AM drop off and 4 PM to 6 PM pick up.


Overnight Boarding: 8 – 10 AM drop-off, 8-10 AM pick or 4 – 6 PM for an extra daycare charge will apply.


More to follow…