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September 2014 Newsletter - The K9 Guy

  08/29/14 08:01, by guy k., Categories: Newsletters

Greetings September 2014;

A good while back I authored an article regarding breeders and dog pedigrees. If you're thinking about a pure bred dog at some point in the future, you might wish to read over some things I feel are important things to look for in a responsible breeder. Read more about the topic here.

September 2014 CALENDAR
Month: AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month / National Guide Dogs Month
Weeks: Deaf Dogs Awareness Week Sept 21 / National Dog Week Sept 21
Days: Hug Your Hound Sept 14 / National Pet Memorial Day Sept 14 / Puppy Mill Awareness Day Sept 20 / Responsible Dog Ownership Day Sept 20 / Dogs in Politics Day Sept 23 / World Rabies Day Sept 28 /

CHA Pets at Gallery Hop 09-06 / Cols Mingle with Our Mutts 09-07 & 09-21 / Dayton Mingle With Our Mutts 09-14 /

Further details can be found on the community page of my website: http://thek9guy.com/community.shtml

Recent news stories important to owners....

Service Dog Named After Boy who Died
Bringing Military Dogs Home
Family Dog Bites Child, Parents Charged
Officer Charged in Police K9's Death
NY Rescue Accused of Selling Sick Dogs
Dog Donates Blood to Save Another Dog
$300K Awarded in Dog Bite Case
Business Booming at Dog Gym
First Lutheran Comfort Dog in OH
Bacteria for Treating Tumors

Links to these and other daily stories are available at http://thek9guy.com/ddn

Kids are back in school and family schedules get busier this time of year. Spend some time with your dog(s) on training every day! Regular practice will always get best results.

Vacations and the start of a new school year find late summer typically a bit calmer for scheduling. Recent calls have seen an increase in dogs needing help with leash reactivity and aggression.

The Good Old Days

  08/22/14 16:29, by guy k., Categories: Dog Behavior, Canine Health, Obedience Training

In a private Facebook group this week, several trainers (including myself) were discussing changes in Veterinary medicine over the past several decades. The main topic had to do with who should set service dog standards. There were many off shoots to this topic, and one centered around how our society is seeking training and behavioral advice more and more from Veterinarians vs trainers. As a trainer you may call into question my impartiality here, but I'd like to share a viewpoint developed simply from having lived with dogs for over 50 years.

The first dog I owned as an adult was a rather rambunctious great dane. I was 22 years old, newly married, and very busy in a new career which had nothing to do with dog training. I remember clearly a visit to our well seasoned, country Veterinarian. While our big dog was fidgeting and wanting nothing to do with sitting still on an exam table, our Vet calmly moved our dog's slip chain up behind his ears and gave one quick pop on the collar. Our dog settled down immediately, and he never misbehaved at the Vet's office again.

While our Vet shared an important lesson that day (the simple effectiveness of a calm, clear correction), he also knew he was not a trainer! Because he understood the importance of training, he kept a referral list of those trainers he knew could help his clients learn important life skills with their dogs. Decades later, I was honored when he added me to his referral list. I have the sinking feeling that if I could somehow re-live that early scenario with my great dane, most Vets today would simply whip out the cookie jar. Ughhh.

So I do miss our old Vet who retired some years back. I miss his depth of experience in providing medical care to our pets, and I miss his breadth of wisdom in truly understanding the power of effective training. He referred behaviorally challenged dogs to trainers. Many Vets today seem more likely to offer pharmacological solutions or referrals to Vet behavioral specialists. While these options may have merit in some cases, training will always be the gold standard for addressing behavioral problems because trained dogs understand how to live under the guidance of a human being.

So what can a trainer provide that a Vet cannot? Good trainers will coach owners on way to build successful leadership in a home. Good trainers will develop a dog's obedience so owners have skills and language to guide dogs successfully in our human world, And good trainers will teach owners how to read their dogs so they may provide helpful, proactive supervision. No medication or counselling by a Veterinarian can offer the same IMO. None. To all the Vets out there who understand this and recommend effective trainers, there are many good dogs and their owners who thank you!

Finding Rover

  08/15/14 20:50, by guy k., Categories: Other Topics

I post news stories every day of interest to dog owners and professionals. One trend that I find very interesting is the power of social media in finding lost pets. There have been numerous news stories of lost dogs finding their way back home via support and work of friends and followers on social sites. Today I am pressed for time, but did want to mention a new app that is harnessing this power in a new way...

Finding Rover is a facial recognition app for dogs. The app is free. Once you download it, it takes just a few moments to create an account then snap a picture of you dog. After 2-3 quick steps, the picture is scanned into Finding Rover's database, If your pet is ever lost, you can mark you pet as lost through the app. Those finding lost pets can likewise submit a facial pic to Finding Rover to be run against their database. Very interesting concept, nicely designed app, and something I can see becoming a very useful tool if it is widely adopted.

In the meantime, and in addition to this clever app, remember that simple tags on collars and microchipping are also required to maximize the likelihood of finding any lost pet.

Obedience Defines Reliable Dog Training

  08/08/14 09:28, by guy k., Categories: Obedience Training

Recently I stumbled across a review of a trainer school by one of their students - the review was less than favorable. The student's comments implied greater knowledge than the teachers, and he criticized the school for teaching compulsory methods. Because I once attended this school, it seemed to me the critic may have missed the BIG picture from their curriculum. Condemning training as compulsory actually made little sense to me.

A few years ago I spent several months authoring articles called Training Challenges. These articles described various levels of training achievement, and suggested goals that owners could use to challenge themselves and their pets. If you read through these articles, you can see what one person considers "trained" may not be acceptable for another.

With this in mind, I always challenge my own clients to help their dogs differentiate between "positions" and "commands". Many dogs learn quickly and easily the sit and down positions. Knowing these as commands, however, requires a dog to learn reliability around distractions, solid stays, and performance at distance and in motion. These added facets to training involve a great deal more understanding by a dog than simply learning positions in a quiet setting for a treat.

More importantly, my definition of commands involves a dog actually understands to obey at times when it may wish to do something else - that obedience involves mandatory, necessary, obligatory, and required performance. This actually is the definition of compulsory, and defines reliable training in my mind. Training without these concepts suggests an owner/trainer willing to accept results short of obedience. To me that begs the question - if training isn't compulsory, is it really providing worthwhile and useful results?

August 2014 Newsletter

  08/01/14 08:52, by guy k., Categories: Other Topics, Newsletters

Greetings August 2014;

About 3 years ago I wrapped up a series of articles on training challenges. Afterward, I posted an article discussing why. In short, owners considering training should look at overall results - not just marketing. Effective training assures a dog is obedient around distractions, Dogs that are reliable in this manner can be trusted in more settings and lead a much richer life with their owners. Read more about this topic here.

August 2014 CALENDAR
Month: Adopt a Homeless Pet Month
Weeks: Intl Assistance Dog Week Aug 3 /
Days: Universal Bday for Rescued Dogs Aug 1 / Work Like a Dog Day Aug 5 / Homeless Animals Day Aug 16 / National Dog Day Aug 26 / Holistic Pet Day Aug 30 /

CHA Pets at Gallery Hop 08-02 / Cols Mingle with Our Mutts 08-03, 08-17 / Dayton Mingle With Our Mutts 08-10 / CHA Dog Jog 08-17 /

Further details can be found on the community page of my website: http://thek9guy.com/community.shtml

Recent news stories important to owners....

IKEA Features Adoptable Dog Cutouts in Stores
Dog Owners Healthier Past 65
Duke's Last Day
School Says Service Dog for Child Requires Adult Handler
MD Has 4 Human-IED Trained Dogs

Links to these and other daily stories are available at http://thek9guy.com/ddn

This time of year algae in lakes and ponds can pose health risks to pets. Toxins from some forms of algae kill dogs every year in OH.

May and June were 2 of the busiest months in my history. July was very steady, but things have gotten back to a more normal pace over the past week or so. This time of year sees a lot of calls for dogs that are reactive (barking, lunging, etc.) on walks, as well as work on off leash skills. We still have several months of good weather, so call today to help your dog earn more outdoor privileges.


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