Do it for the right reasons.
Why do you do the things you do? Do you really look forward to it? Does it excite you? Are you being forced to do it in anyway? Are you chasing something the wrong way? Are you punishing yourself? Love the process, don’t make yourself miserable whatever it is you do!
Hazlo por los motivos correctos.
¿Por que haces las cosas que haces? ¿De verdad lo esperas con ansias? ¿Te excita? ¿Te obligan a hacerlo de todos modos? ¿Estás persiguiendo algo de la manera incorrecta? ¿Te estás castigando? ¡Ama el proceso, no te hagas miserable lo que sea que hagas!
I don’t really know why, but I just love Marlowe’s chin. She’s not even 3 but has some little grey hairs, and pretty long whiskers that all intertwine. You can’t really see from here but towards her neck she’s got a super long old man whisker that I always debate cutting off 😂 I just love her cute little old man chin! Is there something weird about your dog that you just love?
Its was a very busy day yesterday, with three new dogs starting lessons today.
Mylee is doing wonderful with her leash manners, stay and on your bed. She is in lesson 4 of 5.
Jack is a bit nervous, so today we discussed ways to help him overcome his fears, and build his confidence.
Gibson is just 14 weeks old, and is already a big boy. Today we focused on his name response, down, leash manners, and impulse control.
Rufus is almost 4 months old, he is doing 5 puppy privates and is a total rockstar. This chocolate lab is eager to learn, and super smart. We worked on his jumping on people and counters, as well as his impulse control.
Have you ever let your dog choose the path you walk? I love doing this! Yesterday morning we started on a trail we usually visit once a week, the dogs were good, stayed close, I even thought Marlowe was being pretty calm for her. At each fork in the path I just stopped and waited for one of them to make a move. The third time, they both excitedly ran down a pretty steep and narrow path, then stopped and looked back at me like ‘are you coming?! Please can we go this way!’ I literally slid down on my butt in the dirt, it was so steep. The girls were so excited to explore a new trail, we had a ton of fun. At one point I thought we were a bit lost but we found our way back eventually 😆 Try this with your dog if you haven’t already! As a side note- look how much it already is like fall! 🍂
Well Marlowe and I finally tried lure coursing today! And she kind of failed at it 🙈 which just goes to show you never really know for certain how your dog will react to something new! Marlowe has a pretty high prey drive and loves to run, so I was super confident she’d be a natural. Not so much. I think she was a bit worried about the sound of the pulleys and the wire, and was confused about being so far away from me. We will try again! We had fun anyway. Has your dog ever surprised you like this?! #sheisactuallyababy#impulsecontrolistoogood ? 😋
We all went canoeing in Jasper yesterday! Surprisingly, Duchess was quite happy to get into the canoe and I think found the whole thing very relaxing! Marlowe was a bit nervous and I think would rather be swimming, but she did really well! We stayed dry at least 😋
🐾What makes a ‘good dog’? -
- Last week Marlowe was playing with another dog and ran into the back of a friend’s legs, who exclaimed “geez, aren’t you a dog trainer?!” Well no, I’m not, but allow me to further explain anyway.
- Lack of behaviour is not my goal with my dogs. Lack of behaviour means the dog is afraid. Too afraid to explore and investigate. While this dog may look like a ‘good dog’ or a well behaved dog, the fact is, this dog isn’t behaving at all. -
- Too often I hear people say ‘what a good dog,’ but if you actually knew dog body language you’d see this dog is immobile, afraid, or shut down. I see it at the vet clinic all the time.
- A well behaved dog is confident and well adjusted. She explores, investigates, isn’t afraid to bark or growl, she is exuberant and a bit mischievous, she reacts and interacts. -
- I want my dogs to be a bit wild and crazy but to trust me and look to me for the right answer when they need one. I want them to be able to make their own choices and learn from them. I want them to express themselves, whether that be in the form of a frustrated growl or an excited greeting. -
- Marlowe is the perfect example of this dog- taught via force free training from the very beginning. She is energetic, confident, well rounded. She listens when she needs to (and when there are treats involved!) she is excellent at reading another dog’s body language, and she has great deference to me. She is wild and silly and perfect. -
- Duchess is generally fearful, with a past we have put behind us. I praise her for exploring, for deciding to investigate something, for digging or destroying a toy or running off with a shoe. I love when she chooses to be mischievous- it means she is feeling comfortable and confident. Even when I knew nothing much about dogs I always said ‘you just can’t get mad at Duchess, even when she’s being bad.’
- Read the article ‘Celebrating the Mischievous Dog’ on www.muttabouttown.com for more! And be proud of your confident dog!
There’s no such thing as too many collars, right? This one is purely for practical reasons- I really needed a waterproof one so we didn’t ruin the pretty fabric collars. And the leash? I mean obviously it needed a matching leash 💁♀️ 🐾Loving the wine colour with gold accents from @goodwolfdesignco. Now if only I had a matching tag..🤔
Joint health- lately I’ve been seeing a lot of senior dogs suffering from painful arthritis, and while this is often inevitable as they age, so much can be done to delay the onset and manage the pain. 💕
This is Duchess’ joint health cocktail: -
🐾Tumeric “Golden” paste: anti-inflammation -
🐾Bone broth: not daily but fairly often. Good for the guts too.
🐾Aventi Omega 3 Complete: high quality fish oil. -
🐾 Aventi Joint Formula: glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM etc. Great quality and good price.
🐾 Blackmore’s Osteosupport Capsules: high quality Green Lipped Mussel for natural pain relief -
🐾Onsior: a prescription NSAID from our vet. Sometimes you really do need medication and this one is very safe for long term use and easy on the guts. Ask your veterinarian!
🐶 Most dogs don’t need this whole cocktail. Duchess has quite severe joint problems and I can go a bit overboard. Marlowe is just 2.5 years old but very active so I have her on the Aventi Joint Formula and Omegas daily as a preventative measure (lots of other benefits to fish oil also). If you’re going to do anything, I would feed a high quality glucosamine supplement and fish oil- this can make a big difference, and try to start before your dog is noticeably painful. -
🐶Cartrophen injections from your vet can also really help!
Do you know that most aggressive dogs are actually extremely scared? Very few dogs are truly aggressive. Most people just see the shark on the surface- lunging, growling and barking. But if you look closer below the water you’ll see the goldfish- timid and afraid, just trying to get some space to feel safe again. 🐾
Try to meet the needs of the goldfish instead of punishing the shark. 🐾 (I don’t know where this image originally came from but if it’s yours please let me know!)
It’s 30 degrees here today! So we got out fairly early, just a very short walk to the river where we played for a while before going home to enjoy the air conditioning. What are you guys doing with your pups this weekend?
Your dog is not trying to dominate you, therefore you do not need to try to dominate him or ensure you are the alpha. In doing this you are only creating fear is your dog. Your dog does not respect you, he is scared of you, and what kind of relationship is that? Fear can also quickly lead to aggression. Be a benevolent leader for your dog. Praise often. (Image taken from Veterinary Voices UK / VetEdX).
“Remember back in school- some of your teachers made learning very easy while others made learning a chore. You managed to get a grasp of the material no matter what but when the teacher put some thought into how to teach, it made learning so much easier. That’s what you ought to be doing with your dog: making learning as easy and enjoyable as possible.” - Pamela J Reid, Ph.D. 🐾
I think we all had some teachers who made our lives miserable and others who kept learning fun. I totally had some teachers who forced me to stay up all night trying to figure something out, usually ending in tears of frustration and defeat. I was getting the answers just because I had to. 🐾
I had to take grade 12 chemistry twice. The first time I managed to grasp the concepts enough to barely pass the class, I dreaded the class and hated every minute of it. The second time around I had a different teacher, and he presented the same information in a way that totally made sense to me. He broke the concepts down little by little and made sure his students understood it not just so they could pass a test, but really understand it in its entirety. I remember going through problems with the elated feeling of “yes! I know this! Throw me another question.” To have the same information taught in such contrasting ways really shows what a difference teaching methods can make.(and I did pass that class the second time with flying colours). 🐾
When I work with my dogs I also want them to be excited and motivated to learn. I love when they grasp a concept and are rewarded for it, and they radiate “yes! I got it! Try me again!” Sure, aversive training methods work well enough that the dog can pass the test, but they dread school and I’m sure would have tears of frustration and defeat if they could. The teacher analogy is a great one to use next time you encounter someone using aversive methods with their dogs.
I keep jars of treats around the house so I can always reward my dogs for wanted behaviour (or for no reason at all). I have a jar at the front door, living room, kitchen, and bedroom. And I always have treats with me when we leave the house. You will have more success with increasing wanted behaviours for rewarding those, rather than punishing unwanted behaviours. Just ignore these, or redirect the dog to wanted behaviour, then reward. It’s easy really!
Pretty much the perfect way to spend an evening. I’m so happy with how well behaved Marlowe is at the barn now. I can leave her loose to explore and do her thing but she’s never too far away. And my lovely mare, Jazz, tolerates her antics!