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The Single Biggest Mistake You May Be Making

The Single Biggest Mistake You May Be Making

Terie Hansen

 

This may come as a surprise to many dog owners but, allowing your dog to meet other dogs or people while on leash may be the single biggest mistake you ever make.  It can result in a multitude of negative outcomes and behaviors.

Repeated on leash greetings can take an otherwise relaxed, happy, social dog and turn it into a nervous insecure dog or an over stimulated excessively excited dog.

When dogs are in an uncomfortable situation they can get into flight or fight mode. In social interactions, where your dog is not on a leash they can move away (flight) if they feel stressed, nervous, fearful or anxious. That would be an excellent choice on the dog’s part. However, when they are leashed, they no longer have that option, and they know it. That leaves them looking for alternate ways to deal with the situation. One option may be to fight. This may not have happened yet, but with repeated exposure to stressful on leash interactions your dog may one day choose the fight option. In their mind, you are not advocating for them. In fact, YOU are placing them in the stressful situation in the first place.

At the very least you can end up with a leash reactive dog (one that barks, growls, lunges at other dogs or people while on leash). REACTIVITY is the way that that many dogs choose to deal with stressful situations. Reactivity can be mild or pretty scary. One thing for sure is, if you don’t address the behavior it will worsen.

Who and how do you let dogs interact with? Happy, social dogs that you know, off leash in an enclosed area (house/yard). Also, doggy daycare is a great choice. It is a social environment that is structured and supervised by trained professionals.

Next time you think it’s a good idea to let your dog meet another dog on leash, put yourself in their place. Would you like to be repeatedly placed situations where you couldn’t get away if you wanted/needed to?

 

Terie Hansen is Owner of Good Dog! Coaching & Pet Care. More information at www.gooddogcoaching.com

New Year, New Dog

New Year, New Dog

Terie Hansen

A dog can learn new things at any age. If you’ve been living with a dog that has less than desirable behaviors, there’s no time like the present to make a change. It’s a new year, new dog!
puppy leash training in lawrenceville, ga

Obedience training can change your dog’s behavior dramatically. Start with simple commands like sit or down. Teach your dog one new command every couple of weeks. Start with a simple sit command, then add walking nicely on leash (no pulling) etc. Make sure to have a leash on your dog so that you have control when needed and can guide your dog into position.

Teach the commands with an implied stay. The sit command for example, doesn’t just mean to sit down for a moment it means to sit and keep sitting until you release the dog. No need to even say stay. [Read more…]

Who Advocates for Your Dog? You or Your Dog?

Advocate for your dog. If you don’t your dog will advocate for itself and that doesn’t usually turn out well. Who advocates for your dog?

advocate for your dog

Learn and Understand Canine Body Language.

When we say “advocate” what do we mean? Who advocates for your dog?
We mean, putting your dog’s physical and emotional well-being first. BEFORE your own wants and needs. You protect your dog, not the other way around. This requires you to be aware, alert and proactive. Practice constant situational awareness. Who advocates for your dog?

Learn and understand canine body language. Make sure to look at the dog’s entire body (a wagging tail does not always equal a happy dog). Doing so affords you the opportunity to not put your dog into or to remove your dog from situations where your dog feels stressed, fearful, overwhelmed, threatened or overexcited. Preempting your dog from taking matters into his own hands or practicing unwanted behaviors. [Read more…]

ID Your Dogs and Cats for Safety

Why is it so important to ID your dogs or cats for safety? Having up to date identification on your pet greatly increases the chances of return should your pet escape or get lost.

If your pet escapes your home or yard and is running loose, a neighbor or other person is much more likely to stop to help your pet if they are clearly wearing a collar and tags. 

A collar and ID tag signifies that the pet belongs to someone and isn’t just a stray.ID Your Dogs or Cats for Safety

Having an ID tag with your pet’s name and your phone number makes it easy for the good Samaritan to act quickly without much effort.

Even if your pet is micro chipped, if they don’t have a collar and tags the chances of someone helping are reduced greatly. 

Just think about it. If you saw a dog without a collar and tags running loose, would you take the time to pick it up only to have to take it to a vet or local shelter to be scanned for a microchip??? Highly unlikely for most people.  [Read more…]

Flirt Pole Fun, How to Engage Your Terrier

Flirt Pole Fun, How to Engage your Terrier Breed. Terriers love to chase. It is an instinct that runs strong in the breed.

A flirt pole is a great way to allow your Terrier to engage that instinct in aFLIRT POLE positive manner.

It’s also a great way to reinforce impulse control and other commands such as sit, down and out.

Have your dog sit or down. Then just before you engage the toy, release them from command “break” and off they go! Go a few rounds letting them [Read more…]

Surviving The Adolescent Dog

Surviving the Adolescent Dog

Adolescent dog Adolescence is a period of time in a young dog’s development when hormones are flooding their system. No longer considered a puppy, but still exhibiting many puppy like behaviors. Behaviors that will likely be exaggerated by the flood of hormones. This hormonal surge typically begins around 7-9 months of age, although some giant breeds mature more slowly. Surviving the adolescent dog training lawrenceville, ga adolescent dog is no joke. 

Your cute, cuddly, amenable little puppy transforms into a pushy, bratty, crazy, jumping, mouthing, counter surfing monster.

Not listening, running away, not towards you, pulling on leash in every direction, not to mention, humping anything in sight. You get the picture? What happened??? Think teenager. Not realizing what is happening, this is the age when many owners re-home their dogs. [Read more…]

New Year Resolution Just Do It

New Year Resolution Just Do It

Struggling with your dog’s bad behavior? Jumping, mouthing, running out open doors, pulling on the leash, reactive towards other dogs, people, guarding, barking, OCD behaviors, crate nonsense, separation anxiety, toileting in the house? You may be experiencing some or all of these. Even if you are only experiencing a few it can seem overwhelming. Where do you even begin? dogs work it out dog jumping upMy advice… just start. Or as Nike might say for a New Year Resolution “Just Do It”.  [Read more…]

Dog Training Tips for Teaching Thresholds

Dog Training Tips for Teaching Thresholds. Do not pass unless invited to do so!Dog Training Tips Teaching Thresholds

Do you own a “Door Dasher”?

 

Thresholds at it pertains to dogs is an important but oftentimes overlooked area of training with many owners and dog trainers. Teaching a dog NOT to move through a threshold unless invited  to do so can be lifesaving. A threshold is a door to the house, car door, crate door etc. So many times, I hear of dogs escaping through a door only to get lost, or worse, hit by a car or engage in dog fights. [Read more…]

10 Tips for Responsible Dog Ownership

Responsible Dog Ownership Top 10 Tips 

When we think about responsible dog ownership we mostly think of providing food, shelter, veterinary care and love. But being a responsible dog owner goes way beyond those minimum requirements. Some questions to ask yourself… How am I providing for my dog’s mental health and well being? How am I and my dog impacting others? The environment? With these and other questions in mind here are my Top 10 tips for responsible dog ownership. [Read more…]

Low Expectations Yield Low Results in Dog Behavior

Dog Behavior, Low expectations yield low results with your dog’s behavior.

I often feel I have much higher expectations for dogs than my clients do. This is because I know what dogs are capable of in terms of learning good behavior. Many dog owners are used to living dog behaviorwith their dog’s bad behaviors either because they don’t know it can be better, or they don’t know how to make it happen, or worse, they are not willing to put forth the effort to make it happen. If it is a matter of budget, there are tons of FREE how-to videos online. Not to mention, plenty of people have trained their dogs using online videos to guide them. Dog behavior matters.

I believe that most dog owners don’t realize how good it can be! Of course, if they have reached out to a dog trainer like myself, they have and just need help with the process.

Dog’s are incredibly smart. Dog behavior is a reflection of the boundaries that have been set and the consistency with which they have been enforced.  [Read more…]