Feeding your dog Life’s Abundance Premium Dog Food is a great step in the right direction of providing him with the bond and safety he craves and needs.  In addition, obedience and behavior training is very important in assuring that you have a great dog for life and the proper companion for the entire family.

We would like to share some of the articles we have written over the years and continue to write regarding dog safety, obedience, and behavior.  We hope you enjoy them.

How Should I Deal with My Dog During the COVID-19 Shutdown?

May you live in interesting times” is an English translation of what many people rightly or wrongly associate with a traditional Chinese curse.  Although the actual origin of this phrase has been argued for over one hundred years, the irony of its existence and the present state of affairs in the world are obvious.

We are clearly living in interesting and uncertain times.  This situation causes us to become uncharacteristically nervous and fearful.  Our natural demeanor changes and we are now acting in ways we never, or very rarely acted in the past.  We are aware of what is going on and, for the most part, can process and accept the changes in our demeanor.

We can also understand that the natural and repetitive tasks that we perform on a daily basis have instantly changed.  Some of these changes have been drastic.  We are now working from home.  The kids are out of school.  We aren’t going out like we did in the past.  We can understand that too.

I keep saying “we”, but there is one “we” that I have not mentioned.  Our dog is at home with us too.  He never got the COVID-19 memo.  He never read the CDC guidelines or understood what was being said on the nightly White House Coronavirus briefings.  All he knows is “something has instantly and drastically changed”.  And, he has no idea why.

Our dogs need a consistent and repetitive environment to feel safe and secure.  When things instantly and inexplicably change, they become fearful and unwillingly take a dominant role.  This can lead to inappropriate, physical, and possibly aggressive behavior.

It is important to properly communicate with our dogs that everything is still fine, and we will be keeping them safe.  Robin and I have a great article addressing how to properly address the COVID-19 “new and hopefully temporary norm” with your dog.  Please read our dog training article titled “How Should I Deal with My Dog During the COVID-19 Shutdown”.

We will all get through this.  Let’s make sure that “we” also includes our dog…

Coronavirus

What is the Best Way for Our Kids to Play with Our Dog?

As a general rule, I like dogs better than people.  I have had a dog for just about as long as I can remember.  My first dog was a Collie named Lassie.  Yes, I am old and yes, my dog was named after the TV show that I was watching on our family’s one black and white Zenith TV.

I love dogs because they were always my friend.  They never lie and are always happy to see me.  I played with Lassie every day after Kindergarten and we always had a wonderful time.  She never did anything to scare or frighten me and I always felt safe and happy around her.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with all children and their dogs.  Sometimes things get out of hand and the dog may scare, frighten, or even hurt the child.  These are very unfortunate situations and are normally not the result of an overtly, intentional action on either the child’s or dog’s part.  They are normally caused simply because “things happen”.  Well, we don’t want those things to happen.

Robin and I have observed that when you become afraid of dogs as a child, you will remain afraid of dogs all your life.  Because of this,  we want to do our best to nurture a safe, and strong bond between children and their dogs at the earliest, appropriate age.

We need to understand how close, physical interaction can trigger appropriate and inappropriate responses from our dog.  Once we have this basic understanding, it becomes far easier to properly engage them within a healthy situation.

We need to take a strong, but slightly passive role in the play experience of our children and dogs.  This involves both management and instruction.  Robin and I have a great dog training article that provides the exact steps you need to follow to allow your child and their dog to have a wonderful and bonding play time.  Please read “What is the Best Way for Our Kids to Play with Our Dog”.

Kids and Dogs

Why is My Dog Calm and My Neighbor’s Dog Crazy?

Robin and I have heard “the crazy dog story” far more times that we could ever count.  Many families try to do the right thing by researching dog temperaments or recalling the dogs they had when they were kids.  Many times, people pick dogs because their neighbor had a dog they really love.  The dog comes over to play when the neighbors are out front.  He seems loving and very well behaved.

Bingo! They run off and find what they believe is a dog just like their neighbor’s.  If their neighbor got their dog from a breeder, they often go to the same breeder.  They even try to get a dog from the same parents and even from the same position in the litter.  They believe that this will be great and they will have a carbon copy of their neighbor’s dog.

What happens when their “copycat” doggie is nuts and “completely over the top” when they thought they were getting a twin of their neighbor’s dog?  Why is their dog nuts and their neighbor’s dog calm?

Remember all those nutritional or (even self-help books” that were titled “You Are What You Eat”?  Well, the same can be true of your family.  Robin and I tell our clients that family dynamics play a vital role in the creation of a social environment.  That environment is critical in a dog’s understanding of “what he should do”.  Robin and I have a great article (from the perspective of the calm dog’s owner) that explains all of this. Please read our blog article titled “Why is My Dog Calm and My Neighbor’s Dog Crazy”.

Family Dynamics

How Do I Get My Big and Crazy Dog to Behave on a Walk?

There seems to be nothing more iconic than seeing dogs and their owners out for a neighborhood walk or taking our dog out for a walk after we get home and before dinner time.  We look through the neighborhood and see all types of dogs on leashes walking with their masters, enjoying the fresh air, checking out all the smells (normally the dog), and greeting neighbors.

But, what happens when our dog is just completely nuts, pulls the leash, tries to chase everything, knocks us down, and possibly hurts us?  What if we have tried everything we could have imagined to stop our dog’s bad behavior and disrespect only to discover that things are getting worse?  Do we have to give up our walks, stay inside, and glance through the front windows only to see our neighbors and their dogs having wonderful walks?

Well, the answer is “No”.  First of all, this article assumes that your dog is not only crazy (as described above), but also big.  That inference would have been drawn from the discussion of your possible injuries while walking your dog.   When we have big and crazy dogs, they normally act out by doing “big and crazy” things to us.  The super strong pulling, not paying attention, and seemingly unending amount of adrenaline are all descriptions of our dog while on the walk.

We need to counteract these actions if we ever expect to have a calm and happy walk with our dog.  The problem is that when we are confronted with “high energy and force”, we normally respond with “high energy and force”.  We do thing that normally increase our dog’s adrenaline and even (unknown to us) encourage their crazy behavior.

We need to respond and even proactively act in such a way that will teach our dog what is right, regain their focus, and calm them down.  We need to create our own learning environment that brings the focus back to us and away from the “continual craziness” of our dog.

Robin and I have a great dog training article that provides a great exercise to counteract your dog’s crazy, adrenalized behavior while walking.  We have used it many times with great success.  Please read our article titled “How Do I Get My Big and Crazy Dog to Behave on a Walk”.

Walking a Crazy Big Dog

Why Does My Dog Potty In The House As Soon As I Bring Him Inside?

I talk a lot about Potty Training in my blogs for a very important reason.  As dog trainers, Robin and I have experienced many puppies and dogs being surrendered to shelters because the dog was “messing up the carpets” or “ruining the hardwood floors”.  I am sorry, but these are not valid reasons to give up on your puppy or dog.

Potty Training is the first, big test that most of us “dog owners” experience when we bring our new canine family member home.  Instead of teaching them Come, Sit, or Stay where you can practice for a while and initial failure isn’t a big deal; potty training is different.  We need to get this behavior under control as quickly as possible or our lives and home will be in shambles.

We normally believe that it isn’t that big a deal.  Take the dog out every few hours and them bring them back.  Easy-peasy.  We believe that there is something “magical” in our dog’s brain and bladder that tell them when and where to potty.  No, that isn’t the case.

This brings us to the situation where we may have been working getting gout dog out for pottying and, low and behold, things are starting to work.  He is starting to go outside.  But then, he isn’t.  We can’t figure out what happened from “success to failure”.

The problem is that we were getting lucky and were not being as focused on the situation as needed.  We were going through some motions that happened to work.  When they stopped working, we didn’t know how to adjust our actions to get things back on track.

This is where Robin and I can enter to help.  When you take your dog out and they don’t go to the bathroom or you take them out, they go, and then go again when you bring them in; what’s the deal?  We have a great dog training article that walks through the steps of what you should be doing and what you should be observing.  Please read our dog training blog titled “Why Does My Dog Potty In The House As Soon As I Bring Him Inside”.

Potty Training

What Are Some Tips for My Dog’s Separation Anxiety?

One of the more complicated issues to resolve when it comes to your dog’s misbehavior is the problem of separation anxiety.  The problem is that it can take many physical forms.  Many times those actions that you would assume are caused by separation anxiety are actually triggered by other physical or interactive issues.

The first thing that you need to understand that separation anxiety is causes by events and relationships that began far before you may see the first indication of the problem.  It is important to understand that if your dog’s bad behavior is caused by separation anxiety, your corrective measures will be different than if you were only dealing with a misbehaving dog chewing something or barking all day.

Robin and I have always stated that the most important part of any human-canine relationship is the bond, structure, trust, and consistency that you and your dog establish.  What is the pecking order and what are the rules help create a safe environment for your dog.  These are the base objectives that must be established when beginning to deal with separation anxiety.

As you can see, the proper identification of your dog’s problem may result in very different courses of action in creating a happy and well-behaved dog.  Robin and I have a great dog training article that lays out the environment you need to create and provides examples of actions you must take in helping your dog through separation anxiety.

Please read our article titled “What Are Some Tips for My Dog’s Separation Anxiety”.  Also remember that all that barking may only be caused by the mail man coming to the door or the school bus letting all the neighborhood kids out right in front of your house.

Socialization Anxiety

Feeding your dog Life’s Abundance Premium Dog Food is a great step in the right direction of providing him with the bond and safety he craves and needs.  In addition, obedience and behavior training is very important in assuring that you have a great dog for life and the proper companion for the entire family.

We would like to share some of the articles we have written over the years and continue to write regarding dog safety, obedience, and behavior.  We hope you enjoy them.

How Should I Deal with My Dog During the COVID-19 Shutdown?

May you live in interesting times” is an English translation of what many people rightly or wrongly associate with a traditional Chinese curse.  Although the actual origin of this phrase has been argued for over one hundred years, the irony of its existence and the present state of affairs in the world are obvious.

We are clearly living in interesting and uncertain times.  This situation causes us to become uncharacteristically nervous and fearful.  Our natural demeanor changes and we are now acting in ways we never, or very rarely acted in the past.  We are aware of what is going on and, for the most part, can process and accept the changes in our demeanor.

We can also understand that the natural and repetitive tasks that we perform on a daily basis have instantly changed.  Some of these changes have been drastic.  We are now working from home.  The kids are out of school.  We aren’t going out like we did in the past.  We can understand that too.

I keep saying “we”, but there is one “we” that I have not mentioned.  Our dog is at home with us too.  He never got the COVID-19 memo.  He never read the CDC guidelines or understood what was being said on the nightly White House Coronavirus briefings.  All he knows is “something has instantly and drastically changed”.  And, he has no idea why.

Our dogs need a consistent and repetitive environment to feel safe and secure.  When things instantly and inexplicably change, they become fearful and unwillingly take a dominant role.  This can lead to inappropriate, physical, and possibly aggressive behavior.

It is important to properly communicate with our dogs that everything is still fine, and we will be keeping them safe.  Robin and I have a great article addressing how to properly address the COVID-19 “new and hopefully temporary norm” with your dog.  Please read our dog training article titled “How Should I Deal with My Dog During the COVID-19 Shutdown”.

We will all get through this.  Let’s make sure that “we” also includes our dog…

Coronavirus

What is the Best Way for Our Kids to Play with Our Dog?

As a general rule, I like dogs better than people.  I have had a dog for just about as long as I can remember.  My first dog was a Collie named Lassie.  Yes, I am old and yes, my dog was named after the TV show that I was watching on our family’s one black and white Zenith TV.

I love dogs because they were always my friend.  They never lie and are always happy to see me.  I played with Lassie every day after Kindergarten and we always had a wonderful time.  She never did anything to scare or frighten me and I always felt safe and happy around her.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with all children and their dogs.  Sometimes things get out of hand and the dog may scare, frighten, or even hurt the child.  These are very unfortunate situations and are normally not the result of an overtly, intentional action on either the child’s or dog’s part.  They are normally caused simply because “things happen”.  Well, we don’t want those things to happen.

Robin and I have observed that when you become afraid of dogs as a child, you will remain afraid of dogs all your life.  Because of this,  we want to do our best to nurture a safe, and strong bond between children and their dogs at the earliest, appropriate age.

We need to understand how close, physical interaction can trigger appropriate and inappropriate responses from our dog.  Once we have this basic understanding, it becomes far easier to properly engage them within a healthy situation.

We need to take a strong, but slightly passive role in the play experience of our children and dogs.  This involves both management and instruction.  Robin and I have a great dog training article that provides the exact steps you need to follow to allow your child and their dog to have a wonderful and bonding play time.  Please read “What is the Best Way for Our Kids to Play with Our Dog”.

Kids and Dogs

Why is My Dog Calm and My Neighbor’s Dog Crazy?

Robin and I have heard “the crazy dog story” far more times that we could ever count.  Many families try to do the right thing by researching dog temperaments or recalling the dogs they had when they were kids.  Many times, people pick dogs because their neighbor had a dog they really love.  The dog comes over to play when the neighbors are out front.  He seems loving and very well behaved.

Bingo! They run off and find what they believe is a dog just like their neighbor’s.  If their neighbor got their dog from a breeder, they often go to the same breeder.  They even try to get a dog from the same parents and even from the same position in the litter.  They believe that this will be great and they will have a carbon copy of their neighbor’s dog.

What happens when their “copycat” doggie is nuts and “completely over the top” when they thought they were getting a twin of their neighbor’s dog?  Why is their dog nuts and their neighbor’s dog calm?

Remember all those nutritional or (even self-help books” that were titled “You Are What You Eat”?  Well, the same can be true of your family.  Robin and I tell our clients that family dynamics play a vital role in the creation of a social environment.  That environment is critical in a dog’s understanding of “what he should do”.  Robin and I have a great article (from the perspective of the calm dog’s owner) that explains all of this. Please read our blog article titled “Why is My Dog Calm and My Neighbor’s Dog Crazy”.

Family Dynamics

How Do I Get My Big and Crazy Dog to Behave on a Walk?

There seems to be nothing more iconic than seeing dogs and their owners out for a neighborhood walk or taking our dog out for a walk after we get home and before dinner time.  We look through the neighborhood and see all types of dogs on leashes walking with their masters, enjoying the fresh air, checking out all the smells (normally the dog), and greeting neighbors.

But, what happens when our dog is just completely nuts, pulls the leash, tries to chase everything, knocks us down, and possibly hurts us?  What if we have tried everything we could have imagined to stop our dog’s bad behavior and disrespect only to discover that things are getting worse?  Do we have to give up our walks, stay inside, and glance through the front windows only to see our neighbors and their dogs having wonderful walks?

Well, the answer is “No”.  First of all, this article assumes that your dog is not only crazy (as described above), but also big.  That inference would have been drawn from the discussion of your possible injuries while walking your dog.   When we have big and crazy dogs, they normally act out by doing “big and crazy” things to us.  The super strong pulling, not paying attention, and seemingly unending amount of adrenaline are all descriptions of our dog while on the walk.

We need to counteract these actions if we ever expect to have a calm and happy walk with our dog.  The problem is that when we are confronted with “high energy and force”, we normally respond with “high energy and force”.  We do thing that normally increase our dog’s adrenaline and even (unknown to us) encourage their crazy behavior.

We need to respond and even proactively act in such a way that will teach our dog what is right, regain their focus, and calm them down.  We need to create our own learning environment that brings the focus back to us and away from the “continual craziness” of our dog.

Robin and I have a great dog training article that provides a great exercise to counteract your dog’s crazy, adrenalized behavior while walking.  We have used it many times with great success.  Please read our article titled “How Do I Get My Big and Crazy Dog to Behave on a Walk”.

Walking a Crazy Big Dog

Why Does My Dog Potty In The House As Soon As I Bring Him Inside?

I talk a lot about Potty Training in my blogs for a very important reason.  As dog trainers, Robin and I have experienced many puppies and dogs being surrendered to shelters because the dog was “messing up the carpets” or “ruining the hardwood floors”.  I am sorry, but these are not valid reasons to give up on your puppy or dog.

Potty Training is the first, big test that most of us “dog owners” experience when we bring our new canine family member home.  Instead of teaching them Come, Sit, or Stay where you can practice for a while and initial failure isn’t a big deal; potty training is different.  We need to get this behavior under control as quickly as possible or our lives and home will be in shambles.

We normally believe that it isn’t that big a deal.  Take the dog out every few hours and them bring them back.  Easy-peasy.  We believe that there is something “magical” in our dog’s brain and bladder that tell them when and where to potty.  No, that isn’t the case.

This brings us to the situation where we may have been working getting gout dog out for pottying and, low and behold, things are starting to work.  He is starting to go outside.  But then, he isn’t.  We can’t figure out what happened from “success to failure”.

The problem is that we were getting lucky and were not being as focused on the situation as needed.  We were going through some motions that happened to work.  When they stopped working, we didn’t know how to adjust our actions to get things back on track.

This is where Robin and I can enter to help.  When you take your dog out and they don’t go to the bathroom or you take them out, they go, and then go again when you bring them in; what’s the deal?  We have a great dog training article that walks through the steps of what you should be doing and what you should be observing.  Please read our dog training blog titled “Why Does My Dog Potty In The House As Soon As I Bring Him Inside”.

Potty Training

What Are Some Tips for My Dog’s Separation Anxiety?

One of the more complicated issues to resolve when it comes to your dog’s misbehavior is the problem of separation anxiety.  The problem is that it can take many physical forms.  Many times those actions that you would assume are caused by separation anxiety are actually triggered by other physical or interactive issues.

The first thing that you need to understand that separation anxiety is causes by events and relationships that began far before you may see the first indication of the problem.  It is important to understand that if your dog’s bad behavior is caused by separation anxiety, your corrective measures will be different than if you were only dealing with a misbehaving dog chewing something or barking all day.

Robin and I have always stated that the most important part of any human-canine relationship is the bond, structure, trust, and consistency that you and your dog establish.  What is the pecking order and what are the rules help create a safe environment for your dog.  These are the base objectives that must be established when beginning to deal with separation anxiety.

As you can see, the proper identification of your dog’s problem may result in very different courses of action in creating a happy and well-behaved dog.  Robin and I have a great dog training article that lays out the environment you need to create and provides examples of actions you must take in helping your dog through separation anxiety.

Please read our article titled “What Are Some Tips for My Dog’s Separation Anxiety”.  Also remember that all that barking may only be caused by the mail man coming to the door or the school bus letting all the neighborhood kids out right in front of your house.

Socialization Anxiety