Author Archives Bruce Edwards

Working With A Dog That is Very Nervous With People

Posted by Bruce Edwards on September 28, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training, Really Good Pet Food

We all get dogs because we love their companionship and we look forward to sharing them with our friends and neighbors when they come into our house.  When we have a very nervous dog, our ability to share this experience becomes quite difficult.  We always are deciding if we have to put our dog away when friends come over or if they are going to lunge or bark incessantly during the entire visit.

What we need to understand is that nervous dogs are often that way because of prior experiences or the lack of prior experiences.  We need to be their leaders and mentors.  This means that we need to socialize them to new experiences or redirect their past experiences that might have caused fear or trepidation into trust and focus.

What to do with a nervous dog

The Right Collar To Walk Your Dog

Posted by Bruce Edwards on September 20, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training, Really Good Pet Food

We all love walking our dogs around the neighborhood.  It can be a great time to meet our neighbors and to allow our dog some “social time” with the other humans and dogs.  The problem comes when our dog doesn’t pay attention to us and pulls or jumps as we try to walk.  Although proper training is an essential part of correcting this issue, the proper equipment is also very important.

There are many trainers that only recommend one type of collar or device to walk a dog.  We take a different approach and suggest multiple options, based on the issues at hand.  Sometimes a collar is the best solution and sometimes a harness is needed for added safety and security.

The proper collar to walk your dog

Keep Your Dog Safe and Protected from Thieves

Posted by Bruce Edwards on September 13, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training, Really Good Pet Food

I know that it just sounds so despicable that it is hard to believe, but people steal dogs every day.  Your dog can be sitting on the front porch and someone will stop their car, walk up, take him, and drive away.  You may have left your dog in the back yard while you went to your neighbor and someone walking by could open the gate, click on a leash, and whisk him away.

Why do they do this?  More than just being bad, bad, people; they normally do this because they want to sell them.  Many people “fish our neighborhoods” with orders for dogs.  Once they find a dog that someone wants to buy, they simply scoop it up and away they go.

Don't let your dog be stolen

Training Your Dog to Stay

Posted by Bruce Edwards on September 05, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training

Many times we have to go to the front door to get a package, pay for the pizza, or let in our friends and neighbors.  What we don’t want to happen is to have our dog run out the front door and down the street.  That was just something we didn’t want to deal with.  In the same respect, we may want our dog to stay put while we are getting something out of the oven or even stay back when we are putting his food down for dinner.

“Stay” is a classic command that most people want to teach their dogs.  The problem is that they often rush the process before the dog is really ready for the lesson.  It is important to know the multiple levels of training and conditioning that must be accomplished to have your dog really obey “Stay”.

Teach Your Dog to Stay

When One Family Member Doesn’t Want to Train

Posted by Bruce Edwards on August 28, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training, Really Good Pet Food

As dog trainers, we often run into the situation where most of the family knows that they have to train their dog and really want to get on the program.  But, there is often one “hold out” that, for some reason, just doesn’t want to take the time to train their dog, doesn’t think there is a problem, or just doesn’t care.

In cases like this, we can still help the family and the dog to create a long and lasting relationship of trust and love.  We simply have to appropriately define the roles and responsibilities of the individual family members.  The most important dog training technique we use is to clearly define leaders and members.  The leaders lead and the members follow.  Guess what, that one family member who didn’t want to get with the program, like the family dog, is a “follower”.

Read more to see what to do when a family member doesn't want to train the dog

Leaving Your Dog Outside – What do they think?

Posted by Bruce Edwards on August 19, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training, Really Good Pet Food

As dog owners, we can keep our dogs inside the house or outside in the back yard.  Many times, we keep our small dogs in the house almost all the time.  On the other hand, many people get large dogs and only want to keep them outside.  We always hear the term “Outside Dog” and think that it is perfectly acceptable to always have our dogs outside.

I want to propose the idea that always having your dog outside is not that great of an idea.  Dogs are social creatures; just like us.  If our parents always made us stay in our room and never socialize with the rest of the family, we would feel ostracized and this could even lead to bad or dangerous behavior.

The same is true of our equally social dogs.  They need to  create bonds and relationships with the entire family (pack).  If we only interact with them during the few periods of time we are outside, that bond will not be created.  They will not feel that they are truly part of our family and will act accordingly.  This can cause misbehavior, not listening, aggression, and escaping.

Don't leave your dog outside.

Stop Your Puppy from Nipping Your Hands

Posted by Bruce Edwards on August 08, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training, Really Good Pet Food

Whenever we go out to train a new dog owner and their puppy and ask them to list their “a Priorities” of what they want to accomplish, they always tell us that they want their puppy to stop nipping at their hands.  The funny thing is that their cute, little puppy is nipping at their hands because they are actually telling him to do so.

A part of a puppy’s communication is nipping.  They are not trying to be mean or hurt us, they are just trying to get our attention.  As babies ourselves, we used to cry and throw things on the ground.  (…and there are some family members that still do that into adulthood!)

We also encourage this by constantly playing with them and getting our hands close to their mouth.  Height and proximity are triggers for physical play and our puppy is simply following our lead.

Stop your puppy from nipping

Your Dog and the Elevator

Posted by Bruce Edwards on August 01, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training, Really Good Pet Food

We “humans” already take most of the world around us for granted.  We have no problem in a car or a plane and understand that it is safe to walk in a crowd at the mall or a busy store.  For some reason, we forgot that we didn’t always feel that way.  We had to get used to everything around us.  This normally happened because our parents, and mostly our mother, took us places time and time again.  Every time we went to a place or did a new thing, she was always there to comfort us and direct us away, if needed.

When we move into high rise apartments or condos, we no longer simply walk into a door or go up a few stairs, we get in this crazy room that moves up and down.  Strange people and dogs can jam in there with us and it can be bumpy, stuff, loud, and crowded.  Our dog is often not ready for any of this and can become frightened and even aggressive.

Teath your dog to ride in an elivator

Dominance Theory

Posted by Bruce Edwards on July 25, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Dog Food and Training, Really Good Pet Food

As professional dog trainers, we are constantly interfacing with Veterinarians and Vet Techs on a daily basis.  Even though there are so many animal blogs and articles on the “Idea of the Day”, we like to confirm and refine our information and techniques from the people who really know what is happening.

That brings us to Dominance Theory.  There are many articles that say this is an outdated idea based on an outdated concept that dogs learn from pack socialization and rules.  First of all, having lived with seven dogs for over eleven years, I am here to tell you that pack socialization is alive and well with our dogs.

Next, I want to debunk the idea that “Dominance Theory” is based on aggression, pain, fear, or entrapment.  It is simply a method that provides a consistent form of leadership and safety for the canine group.

Dominance Theory for our Dogs

A Senior’s Guide to Owning a Dog

Posted by Bruce Edwards on July 18, 2016  /   Posted in Really Good Pet Food

As we get older, dog ownership becomes a larger responsibility than when we were young and spry.  When we are older, we can’t take those long walks like we could when we were in our twenties and thirties.  We can’t pick up our big dogs to put them in the car like we did in the past.  A dog that might need a great deal of exercise and attention may become unruly because we now need to take a long nap in the afternoon.  The place that we live may have restrictive rules when it comes to pets.

All of this doesn’t mean that just because we have white hair and remember watching The Ed Sullivan Show; that dog ownership is not right for us.  We just need to have a longer check off list when we start our search for our new companion.

Dog ownership for Senior Citizens

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