Dog and Owners: Reunited and it Feels So Good!

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The past two weekends did not go as I planned. Last Friday night we took in a Pit/Lab mix and kept her overnight until we could find her family. She was lost and had been dodging cars on a main highway.

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Today my husband and I were returning from a shopping trip and saw a Husky running loose which nearly got hit by a truck. Of course we followed her and was able to get her leashed, into our van, brought her to our home and checked her out. She was well cared for, but had some minor injuries and was in heat.

After posting a pic of her on facebook we headed to the vet to check for a chip. No chip, so we brought her back home. When I checked my facebook there was already a message from one of my friends pointing me to the post by her owners. Yay! Two lost dogs in two weeks, found, rescued, and reunited with their owners! Nothing on earth gives me a greater feeling than helping others! Thank you to all you who partner with us and who donate into our non-profit. This allows us to buy leashes, food, and anything else these dogs may need who come to us. 

Please visit our website and see what we’re all about. 

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Barking Vs. Biting

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Is your dog’s bark worse than their bite? I remember this saying when I was a kid. It’s kind of like sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

Barking can be annoying as well as dangerous.

WHEN BARKING IS OKAY

Dogs bark for many reasons. They may be letting you know someone’s at the door, they need to go outside and go potty, or they may hear or see something. Then some dogs just bark to bark.

It’s okay for a dog to bark initially when guests come to your home or when they see or hear something that alarms them.

NO BARK

After the first bark they should be hushed, and you should command, “No Bark.” Then if they don’t stop barking you again give the command “No Bark!” and give them a squirt of bitter apple spray or a mixture I like to use–half apple cider vinegar and half water directly in their mouth (not in their nose or eyes as this may burn). When they stop barking you should praise them immediately “Good No Bark.”

NO BITE

Just as dogs can be taught not to bark, they can also be taught not to bite, but this requires bringing in a dog trainer, who specializes in dog aggression and behavior modification. People often call me the Dog Whisperer of Michigan or the Dog Lady. I work to rehabilitate biting dogs and aggressive dogs all over Michigan, so they can stay in their homes and won’t have to be put down. The results are phenomenal. 99% of the time these dogs are retrained and tamed.

BITE ME

Most of the dogs I work with give some kind of warning sign when they are about to bite.Their tail stops wagging, their lips curl, they bark or growl. But sometimes dogs give a warning bite–they don’t draw blood or break the skin, but they snap at you to tell you to back off.

In my eyes, these are the most dangerous dogs. Small dogs are often worse biters than large dogs. I’m currently working with a rat terrier who has bitten everyone in her family. She’s 5-6 years old and has been getting away with doing whatever she wants because her family is afraid if they take anything away from her or make her mind, she’ll bite.

She bit me at the end of our first training session. No warning, just snap and got me. Thankfully she didn’t break the skin or draw blood.

ACT FAST

This is a great family who owns this Rat Terrier. They love their dog. But they didn’t know what to do and waited 6 years before getting this dog trained. If you have a dog that is barking or biting it needs training right away. The longer you wait, the worse the dog will become and it could hurt you or someone else. Then your dog may have to be put down. Whereas if you get your dog trained it will be an enjoyable member of the family.

SAFETY FIRST

Any dog that is a threat of biting needs to be muzzled. She was muzzled when the owner brought her to my home for training, but the muzzle was too loose and she had it off within the first five minutes. She seemed like a good dog and was working well with me, so I forgot for a moment that I was still working with an aggressive dog and put my hands in her space to close to her face to teach her the “down” command and she wasn’t having any of that and snapped.

A VARIETY OF TRAINING

Barking and biting dogs need a variety of training. They need to deal with issues within the home and family, but they also need to know how to behave in the world around them publicly. When choosing a trainer for your puppy or dog, make sure to do your homework and choose a trainer that offers various training methods with a mix of discipline and positive reinforcements both in private and group class settings to get you and your dog back to that healthy relationship you both can enjoy.

 

Lisa Freeman is an AKC Evaluator, Top Dog Trainer, Certified Pet Therapist, Dog Behavioral Specialist, Motivational Speaker, and Abuse Advocate. She specializes in dog obedience, pet therapy, and behavior modification. She travels all over Michigan and Ohio to work with bullies (people and dogs) to rehabilitate them and initially to stop bullying. A founder of two non-profits, she offers help, healing, rescue and recovery for the abused, hurting, and rejected.  More into on speaking and training click here.

 

 

The Golden Rule for Puppy and Dog Training

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Golden Retriever Puppy Training: The Golden Rule

 

Puppy Love

Golden Retriever pups are probably one of the most affectionate loving breeds there are and can grow up to be amazing family pets and even pet therapy dogs. However too much love and not enough training while young, can cause mouthing, biting, jumping, and these pups to be absolutely crazy.

A Big Problem

Most people who purchase, adopt, or rescue a Golden typically get them when they are this cute little ball of fur around 8-12 weeks old. But these pups grow fast into huge puppies, by the time they are six months they can weight as much as 75 pounds, yet they think they are still this little lap dog. They actually have a puppy mentality until they are about 3 years of age. So, again, training while they are very young is a must.

Controlled Chaos

If allowed, Golden’s will romp through the house, jump on furniture and guests, and rip your shoes, clothes, and furniture to shreds. These problems can be avoided with obedience training, using firm assertive discipline, and with long walks and daily play sessions. A puppy that gets the right amount of exercise and play time is a more relaxed dog. A relaxed dog will equal a more peaceful home.

Chomping Down

Puppies chew. They are teething and they need something hard to chew on. If you do not provide enough teething toys, they will chew on other things: shoes, clothes, furniture, etc. Dog owners often make a mistake of playing with their puppy with their hands instead of a toy, and are shocked when their dog bits. NEVER play with a puppy or dog with only your hands, always use toys and stop playing as soon as they mouth or bite you.

A True Story

Labs and Golden’s are among my favorite breeds, yet when left untrained they can be the worst dogs and puppies. Right now I’m training with a very spoiled 8 month old Golden, Riddick. The first day I arrived at his home he met me at the door, jumped on me, bit my hands, pants, and feet, and pulled hard on the leash. It took me fifteen minutes to get him settled, under control and obeying my commands. Typically this is not the case, but for 8 months his owners did not have a clue how to stop this behavior. It is critical that Riddick learns obedience and obeys his owners, as a new baby is expected to enter this home in just a few weeks. I got my work cut out for me! But we are making progress. He now comes, sits, downs and does short stays. We are working on walking without pulling and staying off people and furniture.

The #1 Rule

Train, train, train. Do not bring a puppy into your house and just think it will be amazing at it grows. This pup needs love, but it also needs lots of exercise, structure, and discipline. Socialization with other people and dogs/pups is key to having a happy, healthy, and safe well balanced dog. Group puppy and dog classes are awesome and give your puppy/dog something that nothing else can. Private training is great for obedience and behavioral problems too (barking, jumping, nipping, mouthing, biting, potty issues). Puppies are like children, they need guidance all through their lives and the best way to guide them is through ongoing training. When they are learning new things, they don’t have time to misbehave 🙂