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How do I stop my dog from barking and jumping on the door when someone knocks?2023-02-10T12:52:41-08:00

Let’s take a look through a dog’s perspective;

A stranger knock on the door, the dog runs to the door, the person walks into the home and they pet the dog. In your dog’s mind, the act of petting the dog is a reinforcer for barking, so, the dog will think that if they bark at the door, they will always get pet. You will need to desensitize your dog to someone knocking at the door.

Try This!

  • Lightly knock on the door, if your dog does not bark or respond, click and treat. Once your dog has this down, you can move onto the next step.
  • This time, knock a little louder! If your dog does not bark or respond, click and treat. Once your dog has this down, you can move onto the next step.
  • Now, you will need two people in order to do this part. Have someone go outside and knock on the door while you and your dog are waiting inside. if your dog does not bark or respond, click and treat.
My 6-Month-Old Adopted Feral puppy is fearful of going potty outside in the snow and when I touch her collar. How can I help her?2023-02-10T12:46:21-08:00

Just like humans, stress during pregnancy can get passed to their newborns. If a dog does not get their basic needs met and missed the prime socialization period, behavioral problems can occur!


First, I’d ask the following (what I call the “trifecta”).

  1. Is there a genetic component? Were the parents fearful/ anxious? Sometimes we don’t always get to meet the dogs’ parents so we try our best to use any information that we have.
  2. Was the dog socialized before they were 6 months old (did they meet new people/ dogs and experience new places/ objects?
  3. Was there trauma within the first year or so of the dog’s life (this can be a one-time startle or something severe like being injured)?


Here are some options;

  1. Contact your pet’s veterinarian or behaviorist for medication to help decrease brain activity to help your dog calm down.
  1. Once your pets brain activity is calm, you can start training!
    • Remember, go slow and have a high value treat.
    • What’s a high value treat? Most of the time, kibble is not enticing enough to use as a reward when training. I recommend using cheese, hot dogs or RedBarn. Here is an example: I love chocolate pie but am not a fan of lemon pie. If someone wanted me to do something for them and offered a lemon pie, I might not want to do it but if they were to offer a chocolate pie, I would jump at the chance to do what they wanted. This is the same for dogs!
    • Once you know what their “high value” treat is it will make training much easier!
    • Start, by touching the dog’s collar, click and then treat. Once your dog is comfortable with you touching their collar you can move forward to the next step.
    • Lightly grab your dog’s collar, click and then treat. Once your dog is comfortable with you lightly grabbing their collar you can move forward to the next step.
    • Introduce a harness (I recommend the 2 Hounds Design No Pull Harness) to your dog by leaving it on the floor near them. Click and treat your dog when they sniff the harness or show interest in it. Once your dog is comfortable with this you can move forward to the next step.
    • Start by holding the harness and offering your dog a treat. As your dog puts their head through the harness to reach for the treat you can click and then treat. Keep doing this until they feel comfortable and move onto the next step.
    • Now, you can try to put the harness on your dog. While you are putting the harness on your dog keep treating them. Once you have completely put the harness on your dog you can click, treat and praise your dog and yourself! You both just made baby steps towards positive training!
Could my own behavior be affecting my dog?2023-01-19T11:57:45-08:00
What can I do to help my dogs who are reactive towards people/ animals on TV?2023-01-18T11:12:59-08:00

This could be an auditory type fear. An auditory type of fear is when your dog is startled and becomes fearful of a sound. Here are some things you can try to help your dog;

Create a journal and write down each time your dog reacts to the TV to see if you can isolate the sound so you know what the trigger is.

Start counterconditioning and desensitization like in this FREE video on How to Desensitize Your Dog to Loud Sounds here:

You can also check out Truly Force Free Animal Training Understanding & Helping Your Reactive Dog Webinar here:

My puppy seems to become very aggressive in the evening with my 2 girls when they are sitting on the couch. She growls and tries to lunge or jump up on the couch to get to them. Is this normal behavior or should I be concerned about this aggressive behavior?2023-01-18T11:05:18-08:00

This sounds like normal puppy behavior and not aggressive behavior. 7-week-old puppies need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day in a quiet environment. Create a daily schedule for you and your puppy.

A way to ensure enough sleep might be to create a routine. Here is an example;

Morning Schedule:

  1. Wake up
  2. Take puppy outside to go potty and give them a high value treat when they go potty. My dogs LOVE the Lamb RedBarn cut up into pea size pieces.
  3. Provide a food toy such as a Kong Wobbler, Kibble Nibble Ball or Kong filled with your puppies’ breakfast and let them work on that while you get ready for your day.
  4. Once you are ready and your puppy has eaten all of their food you can take puppy outside to go potty and give them a high value treat when they go potty.
  5. Now you can start to play or practice training with your puppy.
  6. If you are leaving for the day, you can put your puppy in an Dog Pen or Crate in a quiet place so your puppy can sleep for the next 2 to 4 hours.

Mid-day Schedule:

  1. Take puppy outside to go potty and give them a high value treat when they go potty.
  2. Provide a food toy filled with your puppies’ lunch such as a Kong Wobbler, Kibble Nibble Ball or Kong and let them work on that while you get ready for your day.
  3. After eating, you can take puppy outside to go potty and give them a high value treat.
  4. Now you can start to play or practice training with your puppy. Remember, that puppies need constant supervision.
  5. You can put your puppy in an Dog Pen or Crate in a quiet place so your puppy can sleep for the next 2 to 4 hours.

Evening Schedule:

  1. Take puppy outside to go potty and give them a high value treat when they go potty.
  2. Provide a food toy filled with your puppies’ dinner such as a Kong Wobbler, Kibble Nibble Ball or Kong and let them work on that while you get ready for your day.
  3. After eating, you can take puppy outside to go potty and give them a high value treat.
  4. You can have your puppy go into an Dog Pen or Crate so they can play and chew or you may consider tethering your puppy to yourself so you can supervise him/ her.
What is a fear free veterinarian?2022-12-16T09:59:34-08:00

What’s the difference between a Fear Free Certified Practice and Fear Free Certified Professional?

The basis of any successful Fear Free experience is the successful completion of one of the Fear Free Certification Programs. Our Fear Free Certified Professionals work in various capacities—veterinarians, technicians, customer service staff, practice managers, trainers, groomers, pet sitters, and more. Each individual is responsible for maintaining their certification. Some veterinary hospitals have one certified professional, while others have their entire teams certified.

Fear Free Certified Practices take Fear Free implementation to the next level—from an individual to a joint effort that requires the entire practice team to work together to achieve certification. Fear Free Certified Practices will have successfully implemented Fear Free into all aspects of their business: culture and leadership, client education, staff training, facility, and patient visits. To meet this level of commitment and implementation, practices must measure up to Fear Free standards and will receive an on-site visit from a Fear Free Practice Certification Veterinarian to review the achievement of standards.

To search for a fear free veterinarian near you click here.

How can I find the right dog trainer?2022-12-16T09:58:32-08:00

Anyone can say they are a dog trainer as this profession does not require a license. Here are some tips when looking for a dog trainer that fits you and your dog’s needs;

  • Are they a positive reinforcement dog trainer or are they still using balanced (a mix of both positive reinforcement and traditional training) or traditional training techniques?
  • Make sure to look for their credentials; CCPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, KPA CTP, IAABC
  • Look for a trainer who is consistently learning new skills and acquiring continued education to stay updated on the most current information.
  • Look for a trainer who stays in their own lane – If your goal is for basic obedience training contact a positive reinforcement dog trainer. If your dog is experiencing behavioral issues such as fear, anxiety and/ or aggression we recommend contacting a behavior consultant or animal behaviorist. If your goal is for your dog to become a service dog, we recommend contacting a service dog trainer.
  • Last but not least, look for a trainer who is kind and compassionate. Training is easy but not simple! It is also important that you are doing the homework in-between sessions to make progress.

For more information about positive reinforcement animal trainer and behavior consultant, Shannon Riley (Coyner), click here:

Why is my dog reactive towards children and how do I prevent dog bites from happening?2022-12-16T09:57:24-08:00

Not all dogs want to be around kids. Early socialization is important where the dog is being exposed to kids especially during the socialization period. Kids aren’t always respectful of a dog’s face and can tend to get in a dog’s face or pull their hair or tail.

Supervision is a must! You wouldn’t put two kids together that tend to fight.

Let’s put this into a human perspective;

Let’s say a dog is enjoying a nap on their bed. All of a sudden, a child comes up to the dog and pulls on their tail. The dog moves to another room to avoid the child and to stop this from happening. The child follows the dog and continues to pull on its tail. The dog then snaps at the child to try to get them to stop. Again, the child comes back a third time and continues to pull on their tail. In frustration, the dog bites the child. The dog then gets in trouble for biting but really, they were trying to communicate with the child in three different instances and the child did not listen.

Do you know what your dog is trying to tell you? Take the Canine Body Language Quiz Here:

For more information on how to recognize canine body language check out Truly Force Free Animal Training Understanding Canine Body Language Webinar. We also have a FREE download on canine body language available here:

My 9-month-old German Shepherd/ Pug Mix is consistently laying down on walks and not wanting to move. She was in a dog fight when she was younger. Why is my dog doing this?2022-12-16T09:55:00-08:00

The world can be quite a scary place for a puppy! This can include going on a walk where there are unfamiliar surroundings and loud noises such as cars, planes, birds, other dogs and/ or people! Instead of thinking of this behavior as an “obedience issue” try to start looking at it as an “emotional issue”.

The truth is, not all dogs like to go on walks and might prefer another form of exercise such as swimming or catching a ball. It could also be that this puppy had experienced trauma outside of the home and could be experiencing a trauma response. When a dog is fearful, they can go into fight, flight or freeze mode and this particular puppy may be experiencing freeze mode. This can be described as “attentive immobility”.

Some questions I would ask would be;

  • Was this puppy socialized during the crucial socialization period (birth to 18 weeks)?
  • Was the puppy in a fight during the fear period (4 to 6 months then again when 8 to 10 months)?
  • Is the puppy scared when another dog approaches them?
  • Is this a genetic factor where the dog inherited anxious behaviors from their parents?

The fear period starts when your puppy is between the age of 4 to 6 months. Then, another fear period starts when your puppy is about 8 months old. This could be happening if your puppy was in a fight during this time.

Let’s put this into a human perspective;

If someone were to put a snake (or something you are afraid of) in front of you, you may not want to be put next to a snake again. But if you were to get a piece of chocolate every time the snake was put next to you your brain will start to interpret this as getting something good or of high value. This will help you with your fear of snakes because you will associate it with a treat. The same goes for our dogs!

Remember, trauma is trauma! Each and every one of us, human or animal, can experience trauma. Antianxiety medication prescribed by your pet’s veterinarian can help when training your pet and working on behavior modification with a behavior consultant or behaviorist. There are also homeopathic options such as a Thundershirt, Zylkene or Adaptil Spray you can try that might help your pet.

For more information, check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Understanding Canine Body Language Webinar here:

(7 month old Cane Corso / Golden Retriever Mix) Our puppy is a Rescue out of LA. My dog has a hard time getting up and duckwalks. How long should I wait to get professional help?2022-11-11T08:40:09-08:00

The first thing to ponder is if this is medical. If your dog is in pain they will not perform well. We would recommend contacting your veterinarian and they may want to perform X-Rays to see exactly what might be going on and what the bones are doing. From there, depending on what the issue is, they may refer you to a Orthopedic Doctor, Canine Physical Therapist or Neurologist. Glucosamine for joints can help keep them healthy but will not help if it is a more severe medical or neurological issue.

For more information, check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s FREE Webinar “Do You Have Compassion Fatigue?” here:

(10 Mo Collie Mix) When trying to train a dog out of jumping behavior, as a trainer I know all about turning away from the dog and crossing my arms and not giving attention until the dog has 4 paws on the floor for a few seconds and then I can turn around but not right away so there’s no chaining of events (i.e.: “I jump and then I settle and then I get attention”). My question is whether or not this pup can be successfully trained to not jump if the owner doesn’t follow through on the same behavior as I’m doing? Is there something else I should be doing or advising her? She just yells at the pup to stop. The owner is both a friend and a neighbor and pet sitting client. I’m always making training suggestions (she has 3 dogs in total) but I’m not her hired trainer.2022-11-11T08:39:16-08:00

I fostered a litter of puppies which included my black Labrador, Captain, and taught them all to “sit” at 5 weeks in age. By 12 weeks in age they never jumped on people!

Inconsistency in humans can slow training! Sometimes, when we yell at our dogs to “stop” this can actually reinforce the unwanted behavior because they think to themselves, “I’m getting attention!”. Dogs need to know what it is you actually want them to do.

Try this!

Remember consistency is key! Have treats handy at the front door. As soon as you walk into your home ask your dog to “sit”. If they perform this cue you can give them a treat. Eventually they will learn that when they “sit” they will get treats and that jumping does not.

For more information, check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Good Manners Course here:

We have a dog that jumps into gutter once free to roam without supervision and eats the trash even after it have enough meal. Please gives us a solution.2022-11-11T08:38:10-08:00

Think of it like this, if you were to leave an infant at home alone with crayons they will try to find a way to keep themselves entertained! They may start to pull out toys, draw on the walls, or even get into something they shouldn’t be getting into and the same goes for our dogs!

They may be seeking mental stimulation and are looking for entertainment! Sometimes, a dog that eats everything in sight might have a medical condition called, PICA. If this is the case you can try to desensitize your dog to a muzzle so they can wear this throughout the day. If your dog does not have PICA you can try the following;

Feed your dog with a food dispensing toy such as a Kong Wobbler, Buster Food Cube or Kibble Nibble Ball for both mental and physical stimulation. You can also provide bones or rawhides (USA MADE) for your dog to chew on.

While your dog Is in a crate you can provide a Stuffed Kong.

Put food toys in your dog’s outside area.

Another great idea, is to make a giant ice cube filled with beef broth, peanut butter and even treats! You can leave this outside and let your dog work on it through the day.

For more information, check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Can My Dog Benefit From Food Toys Webinar here:

Why is punishing your dog bad?2022-10-14T09:31:32-07:00

99.99% of the time we can teach our dogs positively without using punishment!

The story of the punished Pitbull; why we should not use punishment:

I once was working with a Pitbull puppy who was very sweet and energetic. I taught the family force free positive reinforcement training techniques to train him but with his level of arousal they often left him in the backyard or in the den with very little contact or interaction with them.

About 5 years later, they came to me because they said he was aggressive and had bit people without warning. During our session, his owners shared with me that they had hit him on the nose every time he growled or showed signs of “aggression”.

While we trained together he took treats from me and did not lunge, growl or bark. Although, I was careful, he never showed any sign that he would attack. We decided to remove his pinch collar and put a harness on him.

As his dad was putting the harness on him I gave him treats. When the dog heard the “snap” of the harness his eyes instantly got big and he lunged towards my face. I was able to turn my head and no one was hurt. However, that action showed me that his punishment for growling had led him to learn not to give a warning sign before lunging. He was punished for showing that he was uncomfortable. Eventually, this dog had to be euthanized.

Sadly, pet euthanasia may have been prevented with positive reinforcement, compassion and empathy.


Do you have a reactive dog? Check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s

Reactive Dog Course + Webinar Bundle

I am thinking about getting a dog. What should I consider when looking to adopt a dog?2022-10-14T09:32:28-07:00

One of the first things a person who is considering getting a puppy or adopting a dog is to find a dog that matches your personality and needs. Ask yourself, what do you want out of the relationship?

The Velcro Dog VS. The Independent Dog: If you are a couch potato you shouldn’t get a highly active dog or “Independent Dog”. If you are a highly active person, you shouldn’t get a dog that is a coach potato or “Velcro Dog”.

For more information, we recommend checking out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s How Animals Learn Webinar.

We encourage you to check out our #backyardpettalkpodcast with Shannon Riley-Coyner and Guest, Trish McNillan, as they discuss dog adoption here:

Why does my dog become aggressive when we take things away from her?2022-10-14T09:32:37-07:00

Think of it like this, if you were enjoying an ice cream cone and someone took it away you would probably not be too happy about it. Then, someone comes a second time, so you yell back (or in a dogs case growl) “hey, why are you taking my ice cream cone!”. Finally, the person comes back a third time, and knowing what has happened in the past, you may become reactive (or in a dogs case, bite).

Now, if that person were to trade $20 for the ice cream cone you may react differently and see the value in the trade. For your dog, instead of always taking something away from them try trading it out for something of high value to them such as a favorite toy or high value treat.

For more information, we recommend checking out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Understanding Canine Body Language Webinar or Understanding & Helping Your Reactive Dog Webinar

1.I have a German shepherd pup that weighs in at 55 lbs. he is a working bloodline and attacks me when he does not get what he wants, what do I do?2022-10-14T09:28:50-07:00

Your dog may be frustrated and does not understand what you want or you may be creating a pattern and unknowingly reinforcing it.

Example 1: If you try having your dog “sit” for 30 seconds and they jump on you within 20 seconds they may not be ready for that long of a duration. Instead, start back at 10 seconds until they are successfully sitting for that increment of time. Once they are successful, you may slowly increase the duration by 5 seconds.

Example 2: Captain is obsessed with tennis balls and won’t stop until the ball is destroyed. Before this can happen, we recommend giving your dog a cue so they know when “ball time” is done – I use “all done”.

For more information, check our Truly Force Free Animal Training’s How Animals Learn Webinar or Principles of Positive Reinforcement Training Webinar

My dog 5 month old dog is “STUBBORN” and won’t do things that I ask – how can I change this?2022-09-09T09:42:20-07:00

First, I would ask, how often are you practicing training with your dog?

The truth is dogs aren’t actually “stubborn” but may be confused, scared or even overwhelmed and there could also be an underlying reason for this behavior such as fear and/ or anxiety.

When training, make sure you are using a “High Value” treat so the reward is of value to them. This is something your dog loves – my dogs love Lamb Redbarn cut into small pieces. Want to know more about what a high value treat is? Check out Truly Force Free Animal Trainings What’s Your Dogs Currency Webinar here:


For more information, check out the following webinars;

Truly Force Free Animal Trainings How Animals Learn Webinar here:


Truly Force Free Animal Trainings Understanding Canine Body Language Webinar here:

My dog comes to me easily at home but when we go outside he ignores me – what can I do to fix that?2022-09-09T09:41:34-07:00

This may be because your dog has their training down at home which is a low distraction environment but haven’t quite advanced to training outdoors with lots of distractions. Remember, “fast is slow, and slow is fast” and always set your dog up for success.

Once your dog is has their training down at home, next try it in the backyard and once they have perfected it here, then you may move to the front yard and once they have perfected it here, move onto the park on a long leash.

For more information, check out Truly Force Free Animal Trainings Good Manners Course here:

Why is my dog more hyper after coming home from daycare?2022-09-09T09:40:33-07:00

If your dog comes home hyper after daycare it could be due to nerves. Your dog may be “wired and tired” which can be the same for humans. When humans come home after a group gathering they may be up for a couple of hours until they are able to settle down.

Why isn’t my dog drinking water while at daycare?2022-09-09T09:39:34-07:00

You know the saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but, you can’t make them drink”, well, the same goes for other animals too. There may be many reasons a dog is not drinking water or eating at daycare.

Some dogs may not like to drink out of other dogs water bowls and others may just prefer fresh clean water. Another reason could be that your dog is nervous especially if it is their first time at daycare in a new environment with new people, dogs and other stuff! So, if your dog comes home thirsty after daycare consider the following;

What can you do?

Make a frozen stuffed Kong filled with chicken broth and water for your dog to work on during the day while at daycare. This may help your dog stay mentally stimulated as well as hydrated.

My 15 Month Old Mini Australian Labradoodle is lovable and likes to play with all dogs. With some dogs, she runs and jumps and plays, with respect and a certain gentleness towards them and any sense of boundaries they might have. With other dogs, she immediately starts getting more animated with her play, and jumps harder with them, and also nips or bites at them. What should I do to deter or stop that type of play?2022-09-09T09:38:40-07:00

All daycare facilities must have constant supervision to watch for inappropriate play so they can stop the inappropriate play before it gets out of hand. These unwanted behaviors can be learned at daycare or even from other dogs at home and can transfer to daycare.

How to stop these unwanted behaviors?

Not all dogs are meant to be friends! If this is the case, do not let them play together.

Dogs need constant supervision especially during playtime.

Stop play if it starts to get inappropriate, separate them and take a break.

Deter unwanted behaviors as soon as possible with a reliable “recall”! When you notice your dogs body language change you will be able to successfully call them back to you (also known as recall). For more information on Canine Body Language check out Truly Force Free Animal Trainings Understanding Canine Body Language Webinar here:

You may also want to ask yourself, Is fear going on? Your dog may be in “fight mode”. Fight Mode is a response to an acute threat to survival that is marked by physical changes, including nervous and endocrine changes, that prepare a human or an animal to react or to retreat. If so, your dog may benefit from Truly Force Free Animal Trainings Reactive Dog Course + Webinar Bundle here:

My dog barks at anything, everything and nothing! Why is this happening?2022-10-14T09:32:49-07:00

There are a million reasons why this could be happening! Your dog could be excited, scared or even just playful! Try the following;

  1. Keep a journal and log when the behaviors are happening and to identify what the triggers may be
  2. Here are some ways to manage your dog;
  3. Don’t let dog have access outside
  4. Your dog may be experiencing general anxiety (constantly in stress mode; fight, flight or freeze) and may need medication to help them overcome triggers. In this case, contact your pets veterinarian for prescription medication.
  5. Understand what your dogs body language is trying to tell you! You can check out our Truly Force Free Animal Training Understanding & Helping Your Reactive Dog Webinar or download our Truly Force Free Animal Training Canine Body Language Poster.
  6. Keep your dog busy with food toys such as a kibble nibble ball, Kong wobbler, stuffed Kong or a puzzle toy
  7. Is your dog getting enough exercise? Consider hiring a dog walker
  8. Is there a visual trigger? Block the windows with a curtain or opaque film so it make it difficult for them to see out of
  9. Is there a noise trigger? Play calming music such as “Through A Dogs Ear” or you can find a lot of free options on YouTube.
  10. Are you and your pet able to communicate properly? Teach your dog the basics so you can better understand each other with Truly Force Free Animal Training Good Manners 1 Course!
My puppy who is a rescue froths at the mouth every time she is riding in the car or when taking her on walks. Why is this happening and how can we help?2022-10-14T09:32:59-07:00

There are lots of reasons for this and can happen and can happen with any breed of any age.

There are a couple of reasons this may be happening – motion sickness or fear. First, I’d like to start by asking the following;

  • Is your dog excited to go into the car?
  • Does the frothing of the mouth start before they get into the car, once the engine is on or when the car starts to move?

Is your dog fearful of the car?

  1. Make sure to have a “high value treat” such as a stuffed Kong.
  2. Start by providing your dog with the stuffed Kong while sitting in your car and not turning on the engine. Continue to work on this until your dog feels comfortable.
  3. Again, provide your dog with the stuffed Kong and then turn on the engine. Continue to work on this until your dog feels comfortable.
  4. Again, provide your dog with the stuffed Kong and go for short drives around the block. Remember, slow is fast and fast is slow.

Is it motion sickness?

  1. If your dog is experiencing motion sickness, you may contact your pets veterinarian to prescribe anti-nausea medication. Once the dog is in the car you can try to have them in a crate that is covered by a blanket instead of having free range of the car and providing a food toy such as a stuffed Kong or even a bone.
My dog nips visitors in our home – how can we work with him to feel comfortable with visitors in our home?2022-08-12T12:15:53-07:00

This could be fear-based! Try the following;

  1. Keep a journal and log when the behaviors are happening to identify the triggers that cause nipping to occur.
  2. Before the visitor comes into your home, put your dog on leash to manage and reduce opportunities to nip, and leave a bag of treats by the front door. The visitor can toss treats towards your dog (not at them) as they enter your home.
  3. This will start to show your dogs that visitors are good and they associate the visitor with a treat.
  4. Teach your dog to “sit” before being pet. Check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Good Manners 1 Course to learn how to teach your dog “sit”!
  5. If your dog is a high energy breed such as a heeler I recommend giving them a job or something that will keep them mentally stimulated such as a Kibble Nibble Ball or Puzzle Toy.
How do I get my dog ready to go camping with us if they have never been camping before?2022-07-26T10:23:35-07:00

Ask yourself, is this something your dog will enjoy? If the answer is, yes, keep reading! Training may differ some depending on if your dog is a puppy or from a rescue.

  1. Puppies will need to start as soon as possible! Rescue dogs may need more time especially if they are experiencing any type of behavioral issues such as fear, anxiety and/ or aggression.
  2. Get a high value treat that your dog loves (my dogs love the Lamb RedBarn).
  3. Introduce your dog to the new environments such as a park, beach, campgrounds, hiking trails and don’t forget those yummy “high value” treats!
  4. Start with short visits (30 minutes), once your dog is comfortable, you can progress to a full day.
  5. Once your dog is comfortable, stay at a local campground for one night.
  6. They may be nervous, so they may not want to eat their food. This can be common for a nervous/ fearful dog.

Also consider the following;

Where will your dog be sleeping (crate, tent, car)?

You will also want to introduce your dog to this area so they are comfortable.


Is your dog reactive?

Shannon recommends taking the Truly Force Free Animal Training Reactive Dog Rehabilitation Program


Will you be hiking while camping?

 Start NOW!


Is your dog used to being in a car?

Make sure your dog is used to being in a car for long distances as some dogs may experience car sickness.


Lastly, remember to always have compassion for both yourself and your pet. You might find Truly Force Free Animal Training Canine & Feline Pet First Aid & CPR Webinar beneficial in the case of an emergency.

What can be done about a 6 month old border Collie Mix who does a lot of “muzzle punching”?2022-07-26T10:22:30-07:00

A muzzle punch can be distance increasing behavior saying “get away from me!” or an attention seeking behavior or a herding behavior but it can also be a potential precursor to a bite, so it is a concerning behavior.

To prevent this, you will want to PREVENT triggers, PROVIDE mental stimulation and REDIRECT unwanted behavior!


Here are a few tips;

  1. Make sure your puppy is getting enough rest. Puppies should be getting at least 18 hours of sleep per day. A tired puppy can get “cranky” and can lead to mouthing and biting behavior
  2. Provide mental stimulation toys such as a buster food cube, kibble nibble ball, licky matt or snuffle matt. You can find a list of recommended pet toys here:
  3. You can toss, hide treats, or get created and have a easter egg hunt
  4. This treat will need to be something of “high value” for your dog and something they absolutely love. My dogs favorite treat is the Lamb RedBarn Food Log.

For more information, Check out Truly Force Free Animal Trainings Good Manners 1 Course

Is having a multi-dog household beneficial for the newest/ youngest member of the pack because dogs learn from one another by modeling behavior?2022-10-14T09:33:07-07:00

This is dependent on your situation. It is advised to only have as many dogs in your household that you are able to care for and afford financially (food, veterinarian appointments, etc.).

Older dogs in the household model both bad and good behaviors depending on how much training you have done with them in the past and if they have any problem behaviors currently.

Some dogs prefer to be alone and don’t like having other dogs in the household especially if they are used to living alone.

In addition, not all dogs get along with other dogs so adding another dog could lead to more behavior problems.

Anxiety triggers can be when a specific human family member leave home so having another dog in the household is not always the best option.

For more information, check out Truly Force Free Animal Trainings Good Manners 1 Course

How do you introduce the concept of walking on leash to a 5 month old rescue puppy who has never walked on a leash and is living in a multi-dog home who do walk on leash?2022-10-14T09:33:17-07:00

Teaching Loose Leash Walking

You will want to start training in a low distraction environment such as your home or backyard.

First, Introduce your dog to a harness. Flat collars, choke chains and pinch collars can all cause long term damage to your dogs neck so we recommend using the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Harness.

View Truly Force Free Animal Trainings #trainerquicktip Overcoming Harness Fear here:


Once your dog is familiar and comfortable with the harness you can start practicing “Loose Leash Walking” at home.  You will need a “high value treat” such as cream cheese or peanut butter packet (you may find these at your local box store) or another treat your dog loves.

For more information on how to train your dog to walk nicely on leash check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Good Manners Course here:

When my dog sees a cat they will chase them and won’t listen to “stop, leave it, or come”. How can I get my dog to listen to me, and, come when called during this heightened state?2022-04-19T10:48:40-07:00

“When a person is drowning, it is not a good time to teach him to swim”. – Haim Ginott

This can be due to your dog’s Prey Drive!

So, what is prey drive? According to the dictionary, Prey drive is the instinctive inclination of a carnivore to find, pursue and capture prey. The term is chiefly used to describe and analyze habits in dog training.

So, what does this mean exactly? Your dog’s brain is preprogrammed to chase cats. This is a genetic behavior that was useful before dogs were household pets, and, also how they were able to catch their food in order to survive. So, this behavior is not because they are being “bad” but is just a natural reflex.


Why isn’t my dog listening to me?

This is because your dog is over threshold! This is when your dog crosses from one emotional state to another. If you spend time with a dog who is concerned about other dogs, you have probably witnessed the moment when he or she moves from seemingly okay into out-of-control behavior.

What can I do to help with this behavior?

There are a few things we can do to help with this behavior. You can try to prevent your dog from getting in this situation but we all know that is not always possible. In this case, we recommend the following;

  1. Start in a low distraction area such as your home. You will gradually increase distraction overtime so it is important not to rush your dog. Training is never perfect but practice is key for success. I recommend training for 5 to 10 minutes each day as to not overwhelm yourself or your dog while you are both learning.
  2. You will need a high value treat. This is something your dog really enjoys like bacon, cod or even cream cheese. It will need to be more valuable than what they’re chasing. My dogs absolutely love the Lamb RedBarn while we train together but each dog is different.
  3. Teach your dog to “look at you” by playing the Name Game. The goal is for the dog to look at you when you cue the behavior by saying your dog’s name.
    1. For example, If I say my dogs name, “Captain”, I want that word (his name) to cue him to look back at me. Eventually, we want this behavior to become an instant reflex/instinct.
  4. Once your dog has mastered this in a low distraction environment (your home), you can move into more distracting area such as your backyard.
  5. Once your dog has mastered this in your backyard, you can move into an even more distracting environment such as the park.

For more help, check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Foundation Behavior Course, Good Manners Course or one of our pet-related webinars! Truly Force Free Animal Training is offering a 100% OFF DISCOUNT for a Truly Force Free Webinar (purchase of your choosing) when signing up for our newsletter. Be sure to check the box next to the signup code at the bottom of the homepage in order to receive the correct discount code at

I have been using your good manners course and it’s working wonders for my boy! One thing I can’t quite figure out is how to get him to stop barking at people through the window.2022-10-14T09:33:26-07:00
  • Barking out of your window could be a sign of anxiety/ fear.
  • Your dog may be in “fight mode”.
  • Good Manners is a great course to help give you ways to communicate with your dog but it will not deal with specific behavioral issues such as anxiety, fear or aggression.
  • You can also try redirecting your dog with a high value treat.

Is it getting more intense? Try this;

  • Close the blinds
  • Put frosted tint on the window
  • Block the window
  • Keep your dog in the back room
  • You can also try to move where the mail or your packages are delivered to a location where it won’t affect your dog.
  • Play calming music throughout the day in the background.

If it continues, we recommend taking the Reactive Dog Rehabiliation program or watch the Understanding & Helping Your Reactive Dog Webinar!

I want to help my excitable/ anxious dog learn to settle, but high-value treats (and even attention) are exciting so we end up in a heightened state. Even if I try to capture a moment of chill, once I give the treat she is amped up. How can I help teach her to relax or reward relaxed behavior?2022-10-14T09:33:34-07:00

Try the following;

  1. Teach a “calm” behavior – remember “slow is fast, fast is slow”.
  2. Make sure your own energy is calm.
  3. Prepare the environment for CALM such as a quiet home.
  4. Put a lower value treat in your pocket (leave the training treat pouch out of this training session).
  5. Instead of a clicker you can use a verbal cue such as “yes” or “good” in a calm tone.
  6. If you prefer to use a clicker, try a clicker that is quiet or put the clicker in your pocket to muffle the sound.
  7. Once your home is quiet and you are calm, sit on the floor with your dog on leash and wait.
  8. Be sure not to give your dog attention (especially for unwanted behaviors such as high energy).
  9. If your dog does a calm behavior such as sitting or laying down give them a treat and calmly say “yes” or “good”.
  10. Try to avoid eye contact (you can add this into your plan later).
  11. After about 3 to 8 minutes of training end on a calm note.
  12. Practice this each day for a short period of time. Remember, consistency is key!



Filling the emotional bank account (what is it and how to use it)2022-10-14T09:33:43-07:00

How do you fill your pets EBA? Giving treats, cuddling, walks etc.

The Gottman Institute states the following;

The Emotional Bank Account

Essentially, when you turn toward your partner’s bids for connection, you are making a deposit in your Emotional Bank Account. And when you turn away from your partner, you make a withdrawal. Just like a real bank account, a zero balance is trouble, and a negative balance is the real danger zone.

An Emotional Bank Account grows when partners make more deposits than withdrawals. In a six-year follow-up study of newlywed couples, couples who remained married turned toward their partner’s bids for emotional connection 86% of the time in the lab, while those who divorced averaged 33%. The difference between happy and unhappy couples is how they manage their Emotional Bank Account.

When the Emotional Bank Account is in the red, partners tend to question each other’s intentions and feel disconnected, or even lonely.

But when the Emotional Bank Account is in the green, partners tend to give each other the benefit of the doubt during conflict. They keep their relationship in the positive perspective.

So how do you measure the balance of your Emotional Bank Account?

My Chihuahua doesn’t like to lay down on the ground – how can I fix this?2022-10-14T09:33:56-07:00

Some dogs don’t like to lay on the ground! What can you do?

  1. Start teaching your dog a “down” behavior on a bed or couch.
  2. Once your dog has this down, transfer this training to the floor (you can put a dog bed on the floor to start and slowly take it out of the training).
Is it okay to bring a puppy into the home with a senior dog?2022-10-14T09:34:03-07:00

It depends! Just like humans, dogs are very different from eachother. Some senior dogs may welcome a new puppy and are great teachers. Others can become more stressed since they may be used to being the only pet in the home. What’s most important, is for you to create bounderies between your puppy and senior dog.

Things to look for when finding the right breeder2022-10-14T09:34:36-07:00
  1. Meet the puppies parents (both mom and dad)

  2. If the puppy is out of state, have the breeder fly with them to you or fly with the puppy yourself (don’t let them travel underneath the plane in cargo)

  3. The breeder should have started exposing puppies to a variety of novel objects, people and dogs

  4. Get the parents health history

  5. Check out Puppy Culture
Why is my puppy biting?2022-10-14T09:34:29-07:00

Did you know that puppies need between 18 to 20 hours of sleep each day? Your puppy may be biting because they are just tired! 

  1. Think about what type of environment you like to take a nap in… set up a place that calm and quiet for your puppy to nap.
  2. DON’T use your hands and feet as toys.
  3. Specific breeds such as heelers, australian shepards, siberian huskys may need more stimulation
What if my dog is fearful of Clickers?2022-10-14T09:34:21-07:00
  1. There are a variety of clickers to choose from! If your dog is sound sensitive you can check out a clicker that’s more “quiet”.
  2. If this is still too loud, you can try clicking while the clicker is in your pocket to muffle the noise
  3. ALWAYS pair the click with a high value treat or something rewards to the dog (such as a toy)
  4. Another option: Use a verbal cue such as “good” or “yes” (instead of the click) with a high value treat

Is your pet afriad of loud sounds such as fireworks, thunder etc? This weeks #trainerquicktip is in preparation to “desensitize your dog to loud sounds”. Submit your short video to!

View the #trainerquicktip Desensitization to Loud Sounds here:

How Can I Teach My Dog To Play Correctly?2021-10-27T17:50:29-07:00

There are many reasons your puppy may not be playing correctly. Let’s take a closer look!

  • Playing with dogs that play too rough: If this is the case, make sure to interupt their play as play should be equal.
  • There should be a “chaser” and a “chasee” but it MUST be reciprical.
    • Try This! If your dogs are playing but you are not sure if it is appropriate, try catching the chaser and watch their body language. If they display a relieved look on their face this may mean play is NOT reciprical.
    • If the chasee looks back like, “hey, keep chasing me” then IT IS reciprical.
  • Puppies NEED short breaks (nap time) inbetween play.
  • End of play – End play BEFORE your dog gets too tired.
Is a senior dog be too old to train?2022-10-14T09:34:15-07:00

Training an older dog can be harder or slower due to trauma or fear but IT IS possible – old dogs CAN learn new tricks! You will want to address your dogs fear or trauma before introducing a new cue or trick.

How long do you have to treat for training “recall”?2021-06-14T21:22:08-07:00

First, be sure you are teaching your dog in a quiet (non-distracting) environment. Once your dog has mastered these skills in a quiet environment you may add in distractions. Make sure to always have a “high-value” treat your dog LOVES as a reinforcer (see “What’s Your Dogs Currency” Webinar for information on what a high value treat is). Lastly, make sure to practice for at least 5 minutes everyday for 1 year before removing the “high-value” treat.

What do I do if my dog doesn’t “come” when I call them?2021-04-05T00:08:58-07:00

It sounds like you need to keep her on a leash in the situation when and continue practicing on leash until the recall behavior becomes more fluent. Also, make sure you are using a “high value” treat for “come” such as hot dogs, cheese, cooked chicken. Remember to take baby steps, if you go too fast, you could set her up for failure. Slow and steady wins the race!

Is it okay to incorporate a whistle to get my dog to “come”?2021-04-05T00:01:43-07:00

If you want to use the clicker as a cue to come you can so you can say “come” or whistle then click and treat when she comes to you.

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