Certified Professional Trainer
(614) 987-7495 (614) 987-7495
Dog Training and Behavior
As 2014 winds down, I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2014 was a very busy year for me, and I appreciate the patronage and referrals of so many great clients! I hope everyone will enjoy time and cherish memories with family, friends, and their pets over the coming Holidays.
Don't forget that local shelters will be busy caring for many dogs. It's always nice to share a donation with one of your choosing this time or year. As is customary, my shelter pups (below) struck a pose for this year's Christmas card.
I ran across an interesting video yesterday that shows a dog's development over a 3 year period in about 20 seconds. I have to compliment the film maker (owner?) on their time and patience in its making. While many folks will likely watch this and enjoy the physical development of the pup, I think the second half of the video (featuring shots where the dog is interacting with its owner or environment) is more educational.
At training session with younger dogs, I'll typically take a bit of time discussing puppy developmental stages with owners. I find many owners view puppyhood as a rather long time period, and that they often ignore or accept poor behaviors as "he/she'll outgrow this stage". To my mind, dogs actually mature more quickly mentally than they do physically. Dogs reaching 9 months of age are often more than able to begin training for work jobs (service, military, etc.), And owners taking a proactive approach to a dog's education can enjoy good behaviors sooner (after a few months) vs later (many years).
Good trainers will understand and appreciate these developmental stages, and use this knowledge to help dogs and owners move along as quickly and easily as possible. This understanding is also key in helping owners identify normal developmental behaviors, vs other behaviors which might point to significant problem if not addressed early. It's interesting in the second half of this video to see a dog that is becoming more confident, trusting, and relaxed.
A nice leather leash is a great tool for training. While the type of leash you're using may not be noticeable to your dog, leather's supple and flexible quality makes it very nice on human hands, It also makes handling much easier, which can facilitate better leash skills when practicing obedience with your dog. If you have a large dog, or if you do a lot of training with your dog, treat yourself to a nice leather leash. Following the prep below can also make a new leash a great (and unique) gift for any dog lover you know.
While a small selection of leather leashes may be found at most pet stores, my preference is for the 5' x 3/4" found locally at Bridgeport Equipment on this page. I order mine in natural harness leather. These leashes are the best quality and best value I have found.
New leashes made of harness leather will be stiff when you receive them. Most recently, I have begun using Obenauf's Leather Preservative on my leashes. Previously I have used and recommended neetsfoot oil, but I find Obenauf's a better alternative. It seems to take fewer applications (2-3 vs 4-5), and softens the leather much more quickly than I was finding with neetsfoot oil. It also seems to provide better protection.
Using Obenauf's product will soften and protect your new leash quickly. After 2 applications you should find your new leash darkens immediately, will soften, then becomes ready for years of comfortable yet reliable use.
Greetings For December 2014;
December is the start of winter, and a very enjoyable time for many with the Christmas and New Year's Holidays. Keeping dogs safe this time if year can keep things merry! Please visit this article from 2 years ago with links to winter and ice safety.
December 2014 CALENDAR
Days: National Mutt Day Dec2 /
Due to the Holidays this month, I recommend you visit my announcement page for special Christmas and Holiday events pertaining to pets.
Further details can be found on the community page of my website: http://thek9guy.com/community.shtml
IN THE NEWS
Recent news stories of interest to owners....
How Dogs Drink
Stray Follows Team 20 Miles Through Forest
Faithful Friends Helps Homeless Pets
Dogs Help Track Poachers in Africa
This Golden Needs Some Recall Work
NH Dog Fights Off Coyote Attacking Owner
War Dog Back with Veteran after 16 Months
Dog Hitches Ride on Ambulance with Owner
Strange Dognapping Case Involving PETA?
Links to these and other daily stories are available at http://thek9guy.com/ddn
Adding a pet to a family is common this time of year. I recommend those considering a pet do their research, and keep in mind that all pets require a strong commitment from those they depend on for health and happiness. Adding a dog in your home is a decade long commitment. There are many great dogs in shelters that can make great companions and pets. Adopt based on personality, not looks for greatest success.
December is typically one of the slowest months for my business. I hope all of you enjoy the coming Holidays, and have a very Merry Christmas. For those needing help, I do have appointments available throughout the month. If you are planning to call for training or services after the first of the year, calling early will assure greatest appointment availability as January is typically rather busy.
With decreasing hours of daylight, winter is surely on its way. While I prefer the warmth and light of summer, I do enjoy cooler weather in many ways. One particular advantage of cooler days is that I can take one or more of my dogs out on visits with me. When things begin warming up in April, I always kid my dogs that they're on "summer break". These days I'm more inclined to tell them it's time to go to work.
My oldest dog is now pushing 10 years of age. He's got a lot more gray than years ago and moves a bit slower, but he still enjoys going out with me and helping at times with other dogs. Brody's been a hard worker for many years, and helped me hundreds of dogs over that time. If I say it's time to go to work, he's still waiting at the door for me so we can head out.
While winter for most is a slower time of year, with less time spent outdoors, it's still a fine time to do training. Why not spend time getting your dog ready for more privileges next Spring, by working on obedience training over the winter? Training does take time, so if you want your dog ready to participate in your activities when things warm up next year, now's a great time to get to work!
With Thanksgiving this month, and other approaching holidays, I think it's a also nice time of year to reflect on everything that makes our lives fun, special, and worthwhile. Every time I see Brody riding in the back of my vehicle with his tail wagging - I give a very thankful smile. Here's to older dogs - and the days you enjoy together !
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