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Archive for the 'Obedience & Training' Category

July 20, 2013
Dog Sitting Nicely

D a r n  it! I wish I had taken a photo earlier this week of Maya & Pierson sitting nicely when we had guests over.

We had someone from AT&T over the other day to see if they could fix our internet. We were told that our dogs had to be confined while they were here. Why? The AT&T guy that came told me one of his coworkers had recently been bitten in the face by a dog that was supposed to be friendly. Maybe the dog was. But dogs will be dogs. Maya will jump up on people if I am not careful. This can be very dangerous if someone is bending over when they pet her.

So no matter how friendly your dog is, be considerate of your guests. I have a tendency to think, “The dogs live here, you don’t.” But what if Maya jumps on someone and hurts them? It would be my fault. I would be responsible. It doesn’t matter whose house it is. So in order to protect the safety of my guests, here is what I do with Maya and Pierson:

Work on Sit / Stay
Maya gets really excited when people come over. So we’ve been working very hard on the sit and stay commands. I don’t just work with her at home with no distractions, I also work with her when people come over and out in public with other distractions.

Work on No Jumping
I’ve taught Maya not to jump on me, but it has been difficult to keep her from jumping on other people. People don’t know that they shouldn’t pet her unless she is sitting calmly, so it is my responsibility to tell them. When we are at home or on walks and someone wants to pet Maya, I make sure they know that if she gets up or starts to get anxious, back away or turn around and ignore her.

Keep on a Lead
This helps even at home. If Maya is on a leash when guests come over, it helps put her in “work” mode. It also enables me to grab the other end and restrain her if she gets too excited.

Make Sure Pets are Confined
Yes, it is my house. But there will be some cases where it is simply best to confine my dogs. The AT&T guy was just one example. Another situation I have to be careful of because of Maya’s exuberance is when small children come over. Maya is great with kids, but she tends to get so excited that she knocks them over.

What do your dogs do when people come over? Are they challenging like Maya or calm and well-mannered like Pierson? (Sephi was well-mannered too.)

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Dogs & Kurgo 2

You might think I’m going to talk about a seat belt for dogs or a pet travel crate, but I’m not. Sure, these things most certainly can help, especially for safety, but a dog that doesn’t ride well in the car is not going to do much better in a restraint. They might try to escape the seat belt (and succeed) or they will absolutely hate riding in the carrier. So what is the number one way to help a dog ride well in the car? Training!

In order to ride well in the car, your dog has to learn how to ride well. This takes time and it can be difficult. I should know. I am still working with my crazy Labrador Maya. It is taking me even longer to teach Maya to ride well in the car because I am not consistent. I know that in order to train Maya, I need to work with her nearly every day. If I can just do that, riding with Maya would be so much more pleasant and less distracting.

There are different reasons why dogs don’t ride well in the car. Sometimes they tend to get car sick, like my Pierson. Sometimes they are really nervous about riding in the car. And some, like Maya, just go absolutely bananas in the car. So how does training help a dog ride well in the car? Visit our website for a great article titled, How to Travel with a Dog in a Car.

Thanks for stopping by! Visit us again next Pet Safety Saturday. 🙂

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Is Your Dog Afraid to get in the Car?

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 9, 2013

How to Get Your Dog to go into the Car Willingly

Cesar makes it look so easy. Doesn’t he always? But how did he do it, really? Many would like to think that he just has a magical touch. But I promise that this probably took a lot longer than his video conveyed. Listed below are our steps on how to get your dog to go into the car.

Before I list those steps, however, let me just point out that these steps are not meant to all be done in a single day. They can be, depending on your dog. Each step can take as long as a few minutes, to a few minutes every day for a week or more. So if your dog has no problem with step 1, you can move on to step 2 right away. But if he hesitates at that step, you may have to spend more time on it. Keep training sessions short and positive, but do it daily as needed until getting your dog to go into the car is easy.

Step 1 – Walk with your dog around the car. Get as close to the car as you can without making your dog uncomfortable. As soon as the dog reacts negatively to the car, back off. Encourage him with soft words, use kissy noises, and feel free to bribe with treats.

Step 2 – When your dog has no trouble going all the way up to the car, allow him to sniff it on his own. Let him investigate.

Step 3 – Open the car door and have your dog approach you while you are standing by the open door. If your dog is intimidated by the open door, squat down and coax him to you. I noticed that when I am down on my dog Pierson’s level, he is more likely to approach me. Use treats to bribe.

Step 4 – After your dog passes step 3 comfortably, sit in the car and coax your dog to you. Over a period of time as your dog gets used to approaching you while you are in the car, move further back inside the car so that your dog has to stretch or step in to reach you. You may use the leash to give a quick and slight tug, but do not pull on the leash.

Step 5 – The very first time your dog gets into the car, celebrate with lots of treats, love, and a happy voice. Repeat the same excitement every time your dog gets in on his own until he is comfortable doing it without coaxing.

Step 6 – By the time your dog is comfortable getting in the car with you, try to coax him inside without you actually being in the car too.

As stated above, some dogs will move through these steps quicker than others. But if you need to take your dog somewhere in the car and he is not through all these steps yet, gently pick him up and put him inside. Give lots of praise. Try to make the car ride as pleasant as possible. Here is a great article we wrote back in August 2010 about how to help your dog learn to enjoy riding in the car –

Thanksgiving Trip to Texas 04

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October 1, 2010

Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash-Reactive Dog 

As a certified dog trainer, I read a lot of dog training books.  One particular book I bought specifically in order to get help with my dogs.  That book is called, “Feisty Fido, Help for the Leash-Reactive Dog”.  My dogs, Sephi and Maya, walk pretty well on a leash until they see another dog.  I struggle to keep a hold of them as they pull.  Sephi is pulling because she doesn’t like other dogs and she wants to go after them.  Maya is pulling because she loves other dogs and she wants to go play with them.  This book has been very useful in helping me understand why my dogs are behaving this way and what I can do to correct their behavior.  Check out my review of the book at the American Dog Blog.  Then visit our new Dog Lover’s Book Store in order to purchase it from

 Because I love dogs, I also read a lot of stories about dogs.  I recently read a fantastic fictional story by W. Bruce Cameron titled, “A Dog’s Purpose”.  This story is told from a dog’s perspective.  The dog describes his different lives as a stray, as a family pet, as a working dog, and as a backyard dog.  Although there were parts in this book that made me cry with sadness, there were also parts that made me cry with joy.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  You can read the review of this book at the American Dog Blog as well.  And this book is also available at the Dog Lover’s Book Store.

The Dog Lover’s Book Store is an affiliated store so you can trust its integrity, security, and service.  We will be adding more books to the Dog Lover’s Book Store as we read and buy them.  (Our book reviews will go on the American Dog Blog.)  

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April 20, 2010

Dog Training

Check out the American Dog Blog for a great article on fundamental dog training tips.  The article touches on four basic elements which need to be used for every command you teach your dog.  It doesn’t matter if you are teaching your dog to sit or if you are teaching them to run through an obstacle course.  These four basic tog training tips are used by almost every effective dog trainer.  Check out the American Dog Blog for more details.

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March 27, 2010


Dawn Ross, the primary owner of Pet Auto, is now a certified dog trainer with the Animal Behavior College. So if you live near Lawrence, Kansas and if you are interested in getting help on learning how to train your dog, contact Dawn at Since Dawn is a new dog trainer, dog training classes will be less expensive than most other dog training courses. And if you like how Dawn has helped you train your dog, reference her to other dog-people you know.Also, look for dog training articles by Dawn Ross on the Pet Auto Safety Blog and the American Dog Blog.

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How to Get Your Dog To Listen To You

Author: MayaAndPierson
October 21, 2009

Did you ever wonder why your dog just doesn’t listen? You hear about it a lot with some parents and their children, but with dogs it is a much simpler reason – and a simpler solution. As it sometimes is with children, dogs don’t listen to you because they don’t respect you. You give them everything they could ever want and they don’t have to do a thing to earn it, so what is their motivation for doing what you tell them to do? Not much. But before your use negative motivation like yelling (or worse, physical punishment), try some simple positive actions to earn your dog’s respect.

Make your dog earn the things they want. For example, make them sit before you give them their dinner, before you give them a treat, before you pet them, before you take them for a walk, etc.

Feed your dog only after you and your family have eaten. Do not feed your dog before or at the same time. And certainly do not feed them scraps from the table. If your dog barks at you while you are eating, ignore them. Don’t encourage the bad behavior by giving them food or attention of any kind.

Don’t allow your dog on the bed or furniture. Perhaps once your dog learns to respect you, then at your discretion you can start occasionally allowing them on the bed or furniture.

Take a few minutes each day to teach your dog commands or tricks. Anything you can teach your dog, whether it be the boring sit or a fun rollover trick, will help your dog learn to look up to you. Feel free to bribe them with treats or their favorite toys. If you are concerned about your dog only listening to you when treats or toys are at stake, start with treats then ween them off and replace with praise instead.

The most important thing is to take the time and be consistent. Your dog’s behavior is not going to change overnight and it won’t change at all if you are not consistent.

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Audrey Frederick has the benefit of experience and wisdom when it comes to taking care of pets. She has written a wonderful article which can help you help your dog overcome separation anxiety. Please read this wonderful article below.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs!
By: Audrey Frederick

Also check out her cat and dog website at

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November 8, 2008


The best way to keep your new dog from chewing your stuff or from messing on your floor while you are away is to provide crate training for your dog. Crate training is a safe and easy way to protect both your home and your pet. Some people may think that keeping a dog in a crate is cruel. This is not true unless you keep your dog in the crate for several long hours without food or water or a restroom break. But keeping your dog in a crate for only a few hours can actually help your dog feel safe. In the wild, wolves and other wild canines often stay in a cave or den. Their cave or den protects them from predators and elements of the weather. As descendants of the wolf, dogs still carry this instinct to stay in a secure place. Ever notice your dog sleeping under the table or the bed? Or behind the furniture or in a small room, such as the bathroom during a thunderstorm? Under the porch or in a doghouse? A crate will provide your dog with the same security that the places of your home bring. In fact, most dogs who have gone through crate training often go in their crates on their own initiative.

The most important reason you should provide crate training for your dog is that keeping your dog in a crate prevents them from chewing on harmful things or getting into harmful substances when you are not home. 

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October 21, 2008


Being a puppy, my dog Maya likes to investigate things by putting them in her mouth. In order to prevent her from hurting herself or doing damage, I put safety covers on all my plugs, secured all the wires from my computer and television so that she could not get to them, and the trash can is kept under the sink. If you have a pantry, you can put your trash can in the pantry or get a trash can that has a secure lid. Also, anything I do not want to get destroyed is put up out of Maya’s reach or put into a room where she is not allowed to go. Laundry is kept in a laundry basket with a lid and the bathroom door is kept closed.

Puppies need to chew so it is important that you have fun and safe toys for your dog to play with. The chewing phase generally lasts to age two, but every dog is different and some may take longer to grow out of it. Besides keeping the house secure, I also work with Maya to help her learn what she is and what she is not allowed to chew on. Maya has several toys. If I find her chewing on something she is not supposed to have, I take it away and say “no” in a very firm voice. Then I give her a toy she is allowed to play with and tell her what a good girl she is for playing with it. If your dog gets bored with their toys, switch them out every week or so. You do not necessarily have to buy new toys each time. Just give your dog two or three of their toys at one time and change to two or three of their other toys the next time it seems your dog is getting bored. They will probably play with them like they are new toys!

Another think I do is I keep Maya in a crate for when I am not home. Crate training is a great way to keep your dog safe for when you are not able to keep an eye on them. For more information on crate training your dog, visit this site:

Crate training is not cruel unless you leave the dog in for hours and hours at a time with no potty breaks. Maya actually loves her crate and she often goes in there on her own to rest. On days when I am not going to be home for long hours, I take her to a doggie day care place called Woof’s Play-n-Stay or had a dog walker from Grand-Paws Pet Sitting Services to come by and take her for a walk.

Here is an overview of the things you need to do to make your home safe:

*Put safety covers on plugs that are not being used.
*Secure plugs and wires and make sure your dog can’t get to them.
*Put trash can under the sink or in the pantry or make sure it has a secure lid.
*Make sure items that your dog might like to chew are put out of reach.
*Keep bathroom closed in order to keep the dog from getting into the toiletpaper or laundry.
*Provide fun and toys that your dog is allowed to chew on.
*Teach your dog to chew on their toys only.
*Keep your dog in a secure place, such as a crate, when you are not home.

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