Review of Light of the Dog Online Class


A few months ago I wrote about the alternatives to standard in person obedience classes….including the online class offered by Light of the Dog. Since that post, I have enrolled in two of their classes and here is review of the basic obedience class. Continue reading


Why you should consider adopting an older dog

So you decided you’re ready to add a new furry family member…that’s wonderful. But before you start searching for a new puppy here are a few myths and facts about adopting an older animal.

1) MYTH: Older dogs are harder to train

Actually, it’s often the other way around…puppies can be more challenging to train. It’s a bit like trying to teach a toddler v.s school age child there are big differences in their ability to concentrate and understand what is being asked of them. Not to mention that in many cases, older dogs are already housebroken and know basic commands.

2) FACT: Older dogs are great because you already know their size, their temperament, etc.

Unlike young dogs where you only have a rough idea of how big they will become and what their personality is like…older dogs are generally “what you see is what you get”.

3) MYTH: Older dogs will cost more

This is not always the case. While some older dogs may have health issues (any responsible rescue will make potential adopters aware of a dog’s health status and any cost associated with treating these conditions, allowing you to make an informed decision) many do not or they are easily managed. Don’t forget, the first year of owning a puppy can be rather expensive since they require vaccinations and to be spayed/neutered.

4) FACT: Older dogs have to wait longer for their forever homes than young dogs

Even with all the wonderful things an older dog has to offer they still wait on average four times longer to be adopted.

So when you are searching for a new companion…please don’t over look an older dog, they just might be the perfect fit for your family.

(This was originally posted on C & K Pets)

Owner of A “Stubborn” Dog?

Not all working dogs want to work... Photo: Centurion
Not all working dogs want to work…
Photo: Centurion

German Shepherds are supposed to be hardworking dogs…if they don’t have a “job” to do they’ll often exhibit problem behaviors…and this is common among many working breeds. Unfortunately, our German Shepherd didn’t get that memo. She’s the closest thing to a couch potato as you will get with a German Shepherd. Unfortunately, this makes things like training particularly difficult.

Continue reading

Avoid a cat-tastrophe during introductions

Photo: Wheezy Jefferson
Photo: Wheezy Jefferson

Many cats and dogs learn to live with each other if not like each other. Having a proper introduction between the two critters can go a long way to ensuring household piece. Whether you are introducing two members of the same species or different ones, patience and a slow introduction is important. Continue reading

When school is out…Dog Training Alternatives

Photo: andreaarden
Photo: andreaarden

Group classes can be great when you want to work on commands with distractions or want some in real time tips/corrections for you and your dog. But what happens if for some reason you can’t afford it (since many classes are over $100), you don’t have access to good trainers, or just don’t want to go to a group class (and private lessons aren’t an option). What are the alternatives? Continue reading

Your New Puppy-What to teach them first


So you’ve brought home a new puppy…there’s so much to teach them but where do you start? Crate training and housebreaking are of course top of the list but that doesn’t mean you have to hold off on teaching them other things. In fact, the sooner you work on some of these behaviors the better your bond (and your puppy) will eventually be. Although formal training sessions are good, I like to Incorporate training into daily activities as well as during play (really this isn’t as boring as it sounds).

Every book under the sun talks about training your dog to sit, stay, etc. and yes these are very important behaviors. What is less commonly discussed is the importance of teaching your dog to respond to their name (even if you don’t…eventually they will get it but this will help speed up that process), making eye contact/checking in, drop it and leave it. Continue reading

Cat Problems….

Photo: @Doug88888
Photo: @Doug88888

Cats are cute, cuddly and their antics can provide their owners with some great entertainment. Unfortunately, they can also have behavioral issues…unlike with dogs…usually this is something people just put up with. But is that necessary?
Here’s a few ideas to deal with common kitty issues that might be a problem in your house. Continue reading

NILF method of training dogs?

Like a lot of things…there are many different philosophies when it comes to training dogs. One method that I’ve noticed is really popular among dog owners is often referred to as the NILF (Nothing In Life Is Free) method. Interestingly, I don’t think that the majority of dog owners actually use this method (rather than the Premack method). The NILF method involves having the dog understand that you control everything and therefore if the dog wants something then need to do something for you first. In theory, it doesn’t seem so horrible. After all, it’s not bad to expect a dog to sit quietly when you’re putting their leash on or putting out their food. The problem is if you basically expect your dog’s every wish and movement to be dictated by you (this may seem crazy but this is essentially what pure NILF expects). I’m more of a middle road (or Premack) believer…I think some good “manners” should be expected for somethings but other times it’s better to let a dog be free do what it feels like (eg. sniff around the backyard). Here are some interesting articles on the NILF debate.