Practice Patience and Consistency

Today it’s really cold outside.

I am supposed to be working on my IAABC application, but instead I am doing some displacement sniffing. (Comment if you know what displacement sniffing is!)

Practice Patience and Consistency!

I have been recording my training sessions with Cargo since she was a tiny baby. Most of our training up to this point has been online or by myself. We have taken a handful of classes, she has a few barn hunt titles and done some private sessions. But a majority of training is at home and alone.

The perk of this is that I have hundreds of hours of video on my computer that I can go back and look at when I need to. The downside is that none of these videos are labeled, categorized or have any distinguishing features besides the tiny thumbnail they give me.

Enter displacement sniffing. I am going through all the videos to identify which of my dogs are actually in the video and what in the heck we are working on! I have a solid year of video to go through. Lord help me!

(Again, I should be working on an application)

My plan is to go through the videos and find all the places where I have been practicing with Cargo and show you the progression of some of our exercises.

I may just have to talk about them instead. (hundreds of hours of video y’all)

I will say my favorite part of recording my training sessions is that when I think I am not progressing I can (occasionally) go back a few videos and see where we came from and what the behavior looks like at this point.  Last week it was our “back ups.” Took a look at last weeks video and well that doesn’t look so bad. We carry on.

That’s the point I am trying to make here. WE carry on! We keep working toward that final goal.

What is your final goal for your dog?

What are you doing to get there? Are you on the right track?

Does it look better than it did last month? Last week?

Keep practicing and keep pushing along. With dogs, it’s the journey, not necessarily the destination.

Another year, how did that happen?

Baby dog is 18 months old! Maybe not a baby dog anymore.

 When did January start?

How did we make it to 2019?

Can you believe I have been training your dogs for 5 years?

I have come a long way from those first few clients. (Y’all I am sorry! I am much better at this whole dog training, and listening thing these days!) Now I have two interns, Jon and Keri, who will help me move into the next phase of world domination.. uhh I mean this business I am building.

Moving on…

As I continue to teach them everything I know, and get them ready to take on their own clients, I am reminded that some things we just can’t rush. I have learned so much in the last 5 years about dogs, behavior, training techniques that it gets overwhelming. Then there is so much more to teach about the most important part of the equation, the people who love the dogs we teach, that I just cannot cover in the 300ish hours they are with me.

Some things you just have to learn little bits at a time. After awhile, it becomes clear and easy but to try to do it all at once just overwhelms everyone. Same with clients, sometimes I have to say the same thing a few times before people are ready to hear what I have to say. That’s okay, it’s how we all learn!

Why do we think that our dogs learn any differently?

Think about the last time you learned a new skill, or the worst, had to get a new cell phone! You didn’t have to think about where the apps were on the old phone, and the autocorrect knew what you really meant when you spelled something wrong. It takes some work to remember how to handle the new information thrown at you.

Why do we think that because our dog did one 6 week group class that they know everything they need to know about living with a different species, in a world that makes absolutely no sense to them?

Learning is a lifelong process, and we need to remember that the species we share our life with might need a little more practice or a little patience to make sure they are learning the right thing. Behavior doesn’t change overnight. It takes some time and consistency to reach the goals we have for ourselves and our pups.

So don’t get discouraged when Spot can’t sit in the vet’s office, just use it as information on how to help your pup a little bit more.

Is 2019 the year for you and your pup to live your best life?

Opal is old as dirt and living her best life. Retired

If you want to help your pup a bit more in 2019, sign up for our newsletter now. It’s a bit dormant at the moment, but as 2019 gets rolling, there will be plenty of new and improved training options for you and your pup. There is a free e-book that will help you and your pup live their best life. Tell me what you think of it!

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Until next time!

Holiday gift guide for the dog lover in your life

Blue and red hands free leash from Rugers Ropes. Whale bandana from The Mispit Shop

I brought in a guest blogger for this one! Between working with her own dogs, and shadowing me on appointments, Keri and I have been together for about a year now! Many of you have met her at Recalls on the Beach and at appointments. She will be taking her training certification exam in March, and I can’t wait for her to join the team at The Freckled Paw! If you love cute dog pictures you can follow her on Instagram at @nalas_foster_furiends

Here’s what she has to say about her favorite online shops for her pups!

GstopYbowtie makes gorgeous, high quality bow ties. 50% of their profits goes towards helping dogs involved in the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. I personally love the style called “Party for Two.” You pick a secondary color for the background. It adds more color and even more stability! I recently let her choose the fabrics and was pleasantly surprised by her choices. These are velcro bow ties so they easily attach to any collar.

Biothane collar and tag from TagNTrail

RugersRopes hand dyes cotton leashes. We have several four and five foot ones, along with two hands free leashes. She also sells pre dyed super soft leashes, but still with her perfect whipping to keep it all together. I previously tried another cotton leash company, but the whipping fell off within a month, causing the entire leash to fall apart.

FourMuttsAndCo creates fabric collars. She is based out of Canada, so shipping takes a little longer, but it’s definitely worth it. As a pitbull owner, I love that she has a house full of bully breeds. She is always finding great new patterns. Her size range is broad so they can go grow with your puppy. Don’t forget your keychain to match your pet! Use code AZUL20 to save 20% on your entire order.

 

GStopYBowtie Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am bowtie 4 ft Rugers Ropes leash

TagNTrail has over 200 tag designs and will custom make any tag you can think of! They’re double sided and include a silicone silencer. In our house, we have a tag for every collar, so the variety is helpful. You can choose the fonts, colors, and patterns, making every tag unique. Her customer service is great and she sends you proofs before she creates the final product. We have never been disappointed! She has also recently added biothane collars to her shop. They’re great for the beach!

 

TheMispitShop does bandanas with a sturdy pleather backing.  Pleather helps the bandana to say where it’s supposed to. Each bandana is made to size with snaps to fit your dog perfectly. The snaps allow for a quick and easy on and off.Use code AZUL15 to save 15% on your entire order.

Got a favorite “dog stuff” shop? Let us know!

Adding a dog: the Multi-dog household

Life with many dogs can be amazing if you are ready for it!

This is a popular time of the year to think about making the jump to a multi-dog household. Is it the right time for you and your family? There are a few things you should consider before you bring home another 4 legged friend.

Is your current dog “well-behaved?”

I put that term in quotes because my definition of “behaved” might be different than yours. Many people think another dog to “play with” the current one is the answer to their problems. This is not always the case. Your current dog should be considered “easy to live with” before you bring in another.

Your current dog should be:

  • House trained. No more accidents in the house, especially if it is a small dog. No one wants to keep an eye on two dogs at the same time! We would need more eyeballs! Your current pup being able to be crated quietly while you are home is also a plus!
  • Aware of the basic rules in the house. No puppies on the kitchen counters, stay out of the office, or cat box, no rushing out the front door or chewing on the couch pillows. All of these bad behaviors will absolutely be taught to your new pup by your current pup.  It’s much harder to teach two pups who are learning from each other faster than you realize what’s happening.
  • At least 18 months old. Littermate syndrome is a real thing y’all! I do not recommend getting two puppies at the same time to anyone! (Those of you who have just raised a puppy are probably thinking why on earth would anyone want to do that twice!) In a nutshell, Littermate Syndrome is when your puppies bond very closely with each other and do not bond with the people. Puppies speak “dog” very well, and if you are not putting in the time to teach them how to speak “people” just as well, you are in for a world of trouble.

    She is cute when shes sleeping. This little terrorist keeps me on my toes!

  • Dog friendly. It is not fair to bring in another dog into a house where your current dog is not so fond of other 4 legged things. Dogs do not need dog friends in order to live a happy healthy life. (Case in point: Pixie) If your dog has never had good experiences around other dogs, then bringing home another one is only going to create heartbreak. (If you are not sure, schedule an appointment with me, and we can evaluate your situation.)

Be realistic about your lifestyle.

Bringing home another dog to “wear out” your current one is a terrible idea. So many dogs are sitting in shelters right now because people were not honest with themselves about the type of dog they actually wanted in their life. If your current dog is wearing you down, find a good trainer in your area that can help give you some ideas to “drain the tank” a bit. My Instagram (@thefreckledpawdogtraining) is full of enrichment ideas, and things I give my dogs on a regular basis. Maybe it will give you some ideas too.

If your current dog meets all these requirements, and you think you are ready for a new dog, check out this post about where to find your next adult dog. Or this post on finding the right puppy!

Know someone getting a new puppy or adopting a dog this holiday season? Why not give the gift of knowledge with a gift certificate to help them get everyone on the right path from the beginning! Find the gift certificate on my website www.thefreckledpaw.com

Black Friday Shopping: For the Dog (and owner)

Thanksgiving is almost here, and after turkey means shopping for the holidays!

Happy rescue dog under the tree!

I am one of those people who would rather hold a snake than go black friday shopping. (too many “not-dog people.” Y’all are my dog people.)  I will be sitting at home scouring Amazon and all my favorite shopping sites with Pixie beside me since she’s the only one who cuddles.

So what am I looking for this year? Here is a quick guide of a few of the things I think every dog owner needs to have in their possession!

Harness

I like the Freedom Harness by Two Hounds and the Balance Harness by Blue9. All my dogs wear a Balance Harness, but I like the safety and no-pull function of the Freedom Harness. If you have a bit of a puller on the leash then go with the Freedom Harness.

Long Line

I’ll be looking to upgrade to biothane this year since cotton and nylon tend to get heavy when it gets wet, and my dogs love the water! If you are looking for something a little less expensive, cotton or nylon still get the job done!

Treat Bags

Y’all have seen my “fanny pack” made by EzyDog. This was a christmas present a few years ago, and my favorite treat bag for wearing everyday! It’s got all the pockets and compartments that I need to get through the day training your dogs. It’s held up to everyday wear and tear like a champ, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ezydog.

Another great option that doesn’t break the bank is the Rapid Rewards pouch from Doggone Good. This was my first training pouch as a serious dog trainer. It held up pretty well until Pixie’s leash got wrapped up and broke the clip. I could have easily bought the belt that goes with it to eliminate that problem.

Some other places I can spend a ton of money

Ruffwear – God help me when they have stuff on sale! I have more unnecessary Ruffwear purchases than I care to admit to. I have bowls, bumpers, balls, cooler coats, backpacks, harnesses and so much more. Very geared toward hiking and trail running, the quality is definitely there and can certainly get you through the neighborhood.

Clean Run – Not just for agility equipment, although that gets a good chunk of my money too. They have a great supply of toys and treats for general training aid. They also have a wonderful library full of training books by the industry greats, such as Leslie McDevitt and Denise Fenzi.

Two Brothers Dog Wash – For my local folks. This is where I get all my snacks and food for my pups. They are super committed to excellence in service and products they carry. If you are worried from all the dog food recalls and treats being manufactured in China where the regulations are lax, fear not at Two Brothers. They make sure everything they carry is sourced responsibly and safely to keep your pet healthy and happy. They also carry my recommended products: Annamaet Pet Food and Treatibles PCR treats

Show off your pups new toys on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram @thefreckledpawdogtraining