Why You Should be Concerned About Ticks on Your Pet

Ticks carry a variety of very debilitating diseases.  They can carry Lyme Disease, Babesia, Erlichia, Bartonella and many other diseases that can make people and animals sick.  Although you may be careful when you hike or are out in “tick country”, your dog, cat, horse or other animals you are affectionate with may bring ticks into your home or they may transfer from your animal to you.  If you get bit by the tick, you are at risk of developing a painful, chronic illness. […]

By |2019-05-20T19:20:56+00:00May 20th, 2019|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Make Play a Priority in Your Dog’s Life

Although we know that play is an important part of being a happy, healthy human, we often don’t make it a priority. Play is not only important for humans, it is also important for animals. If play is important for both humans and our furry and feathered friends, why not play together? […]

By |2019-04-18T15:44:24+00:00April 18th, 2019|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Learning Cannot Happen When Your Pet is Under Stress

If you were in the ocean and were drowning, would you want someone to try to teach you to swim at that moment, or would you just want to be brought in, to safety? More than likely, you would be in “survival mode” and you want to be saved. Even if a person tried to teach you to swim, you would not be able to learn. When humans or animals are in “survival mode”, it is nearly impossible to learn a skill. When the brain perceives a situation as “life or death”, it completely focuses on surviving and cannot focus on learning new skills. […]

By |2019-03-27T15:18:32+00:00March 27th, 2019|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Are Dogs More Reactive Than They Used To Be?

The American Psychological Association states that millennials are the most anxious generation to date.  With this information, is it a surprise that we are seeing more anxious dogs?  In most family’s dogs are no longer just pets, they are now family members. As family members, we often include our dogs in our everyday activities.  More and more people are taking their dogs to restaurants, on trips, on planes and into stores.  We often expect our dogs to adapt to our human lives (lives that are stressful for the humans themselves!) without any type of preparation. […]

By |2019-02-25T15:19:05+00:00February 25th, 2019|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Embracing Mistakes

Anytime we are learning a new skill we are likely to make mistakes. Making a mistake is a very valuable part of the learning process. Unfortunately, society has taught us that making mistakes is a bad thing. It is not uncommon for a person to feel embarrassed, ashamed or stupid because they made a mistake. The idea that we will be perfect and never make a mistake is absurd. Often the fear of making a mistake will deter a person from trying new things. Now consider how we treat dogs when they make a mistake when they are learning? […]

By |2018-09-20T16:42:15+00:00September 20th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Fast is Slow – Slow is Fast

Recently I came across this phase “Fast is Slow and Slow is Fast” and I was not really sure what it meant until I found myself saying it to my agility students.  We were working on a new skill and one of my students was racing through the exercise and his dog kept making mistakes.  I had him slow down so they dog had time to think and the dog did the exercise perfectly.  Suddenly I understood “Fast is Slow and Slow is Fast”.  I realized that it was similar to “Slow and steady wins the race”.  When I explained my newly learned phrase to my class, we all laughed but soon it became a common theme when the dogs made a mistake. […]

By |2018-08-23T18:52:08+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Helping Your Dog Who is Afraid of Sounds

July can be a very difficult month for many dogs.  The 4th of July is a festive day for people but it can be terrifying for dogs.  In many cases the loud booms begin a week before the holiday and continue days after.  For dogs that are afraid of fireworks, the two weeks around the 4th can be extremely traumatic.  However, fireworks are not the only sounds that frighten dogs.  Any loud or strange sound can cause anxiety in a dog.  My Jack Russell, Scout, is afraid of the house fire alarm.  Although it does not go off often, even the chirp that indicates the battery is low will send her into a panic.  Dogs can be afraid of any sound, but it’s usually the loud sudden sounds that will worry dogs.  Some examples include garbage trucks, a pot crashing on the ground, a vacuum or lawn mower. […]

By |2018-07-29T02:26:32+00:00June 12th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Why is My Dog So Anxious?

Every day I work with dogs that are anxious. Sometimes they come in because their people think they are “aggressive”, “stubborn”, or “shy” when they are anxious or afraid. Just like people, all animals will go into “survival mode” when they are anxious or afraid. The main three ways that a “survival mode” is exhibited is with fight, flight or freeze. When a dog is responding to fear with “fight” they may be labeled aggressive (they will often bark, growl, lunge or bite). If a dog responds with “flight” they run away and are often labeled escape artists, or they pull on leash. Dogs that “freeze” are typically called stubborn or stupid.. […]

By |2018-06-06T15:32:41+00:00June 6th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Unrealistic Expectations

Have you ever had someone have higher expectations for you than you could realistically fulfill? In our fast-paced world, this occurs often - in the workplace, in relationships, in school - it happens everywhere!  When the expectations are not met, you and the other person involved are disappointed and whatever you are working on suffers. Unfortunately, we also often have unrealistic expectations with our dogs. I see people having unrealistic expectations with their dogs in many of my training classes.  It is not uncommon to have a human-dog team that comes to class every week, but they do not practice the skills at all in between classes.  Obviously, these teams fall behind the teams that practice a little every day (even just 10- 15 minutes each day can make a dramatic difference).  In some cases, the person is compassionate and realizes that their lack of practice has caused the dog’s skills to fall behind.  However, there are cases when the person gets frustrated because the dog is not “performing” as well as the other dogs in class.  With these students, I have to remind them it is not realistic to expect their dog to improve if they do not [...]

By |2018-03-28T23:43:16+00:00February 7th, 2018|Blog of the Month|0 Comments