Certified Professional Trainer
(614) 987-7495 (614) 987-7495 Dog Training and Behavior
Over the past months I've had 2 clients call, no longer wishing to keep their dogs. Realizing that a dog needs to leave a home is a very emotional decision for anyone. While I get a handful of such calls every year, the circumstances for these owners were very different. and worthy of some discussion....
This time of year I like to post a warning, reminding owners that ice in our area is never safe. While we've had mild weather until the past week or two, there have been many stories appearing in the news of dogs and owners falling through ice. Dogs, of course, can't understand the danger. An icy pond looks like an open field to them. Many owners don't appreciate how unsafe ice is (especially in central Ohio), or how quickly a fall in frigid water can kill. Ohio's fluctuating temperatures do not allow water in our area to develop the strength to support dogs or people.
Be aware of the hazards, and keep your dog away from ice! That means either keeping them on a leash if you're near frozen waterways, or having them well trained (and closely supervising them) if off leash. Dogs chasing wildlife, or just wandering onto ice, can be at great risk quickly. A fall into icy water causes hypothermia in minutes. Once a person (or dog's) core temperature drops, muscle control and clear thinking becomes quickly impaired.
The story below has more information....
No topic spurs more debate in training and behavior circles than the use of corrections. "Positive ONLY" advocates have spent the past decades marketing a theory that corrections have no benefit in teaching, cause stress, and degrade relationships. Any sensible observer of dog to dog interactions, will see dogs correct each other, sometimes very physically. So if the all corrections are bad, it doesn't seem dogs got that memo. I have a very strong science background, and appreciate the benefit of open thinking and THEORY. But science is dynamic, nature is stable. REAL WORLD observations provide a preponderance of evidence that dogs taught without ANY corrections consistently demonstrate poorer behavior, less respect of humans in a home, and unreliable obedience around even modest distractions.
Over the holidays we were blessed to have family into our home for 2 separate dinners. After our meals, I was helping my wife clean up. This included loading the dishwasher. Because there were many people we had fed, this took a bit of time. Our newest adoptee, in the home less than 3 months, found it very interesting. As he sat there licking every plate and piece of silverware that I was loading, I wanted him to learn we don't do that here (don't need any cut tongues or poked lips). After several verbal NOs, and several subsequent attempts to push him away, he insisted. Rather than get frustrated, I realized I needed to spend a few minutes doing a bit of teaching.
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