Puppy Stuff

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Mar 052020
Oliver, German Shepherd Dog, Halifax, MA
Moose, Lab Mix, Plymouth, MA
Rascal, Cocker Spaniel, E. Bridgewater, MA
Piper, Labrador Retriever, Halifax, MA
Lucy, Labrador Retriever, Halifax, MA
Bella, Boxer, Halifax, MA
 Posted by on 03/05/2020

Working Out the Kinks

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Mar 052020
Charlie, Terrier Mix, Halifax, MA
Bean, Chihuahua, Halifax, MA
Violet, Arubian Cunucu, Taunton, MA
 Posted by on 03/05/2020

Bottle That Energy

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Feb 062020
Daisy, German Shorthaired Pointer
Halifax, MA

Melanie contacted me because they had welcomed a new puppy into their family and she wasn’t sure how to address a few issues she was having with Daisy.

As it turned out, Melanie just needed someone to help her harness Daisy’s energy and figure out how to also handle her misbehaviors properly.

There is no getting around the fact that puppies have a lot of energy. What to do with that energy, is what Melanie was having trouble with.

Everyone knows that physically exercising your dog is a necessity, but not all people realize the importance of exercising their dog(s) mentally too. In fact, most dogs will tire quicker from an obedience session than running around a football field, twice. This prescription was just what Daisy needed.

So Melanie and I got to work and as a result Daisy improved and continues to improve. Melanie’s outlook improved too. Now she feels more in control and not overwhelmed, because she gives Daisy the exercise she needs both physically and mentally, which makes everyone in the house happy.

Good Work!

 Posted by on 02/06/2020

Is’t There a Pill for That?

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Jan 272020

Pam Harrigan is the founder/owner of Pet Animal Ultrasound Services, LLC., so when it comes to helping animals medically, Pam is extremely knowledgeable, but needed a little help when it came to training her dogs.

Maya, Shepherd Mix/Maddie, Beagle Mix
Hanson, MA

When Pam contacted me, she was struggling with a few issues with her dogs Maya and Maddie. She admitted that her dogs ran the house and she felt she had no control over them and wanted to finally change it. But she didn’t know what to do or how to begin.

The dynamic of your relationship with your dog is usually at the heart of most behavioral issues either positive or negative. How does your dog view you? Are you viewed as the dictator, leader or an underling? In Pam’s case I prefer marshmallow.

The first order of business was to introduce the girls to obedience. Case in point, Maya and Maddie didn’t treat me the same way they treated Pam. Proof that being firm doesn’t make your dog hate you. But they just might respect you more.

I’m happy to have been able to spend time with Pam and her dogs. It was so rewarding to see Pam evolve into the leader she has become and the difference it has made with her dogs and their behavior.

So proud of all of you. Impressive!

 Posted by on 01/27/2020

Learning My Place

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Oct 032019
Sammy, Labrador Retriever, Canton, MA

Sammy’s owner contacted me, because just like a lot of new puppy parents they wanted to get off on the right foot. The whole family was very committed to doing all the things that I advised and taught them to do.

For this little girl it was nothing more than learning where she fit in with this new family. Because she wasn’t doing anything that SHE considered wrong, the effort was naturally placed on her owners, kids and parents alike. My job was to teach them how to do that.

So proud of my Sammy. Turns out she loves to train and so do her family members… who knew???

Congrats to Sammy and her family for doing such a great job.

 Posted by on 10/03/2019

Trying to Fix the Traumas

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Sep 122019

Cooper’s owner Sandy contacted me shortly after she adopted him from down south. She knew he had issues and what those issues were. Even though she was an experienced dog owner, she still wanted a little guidance in the best way to train a reactive dog.

One of the issues was aggression (he bit her sister twice) and another was his fear of riding in a car (he was found living under an overpass).

Because Sandy’s mom lives with her, we needed a plan that would keep everyone safe, especially since Sandy’s mom was under hospice care, which means nurses coming and going regularly. Since Sandy is such an experienced dog owner, I knew Cooper was in the best hands possible going forward.

Cooper, Boxer/Hounds  Mix, 
Middleboro, MA
Cooper, Boxer/Hounds  Mix, 
Middleboro, MA

When it comes to aggression issues with dogs, most often there isn’t just one issue that can trigger a dog. In Cooper’s case, I felt there might be some protectiveness with Nana. After all there wasn’t anyone like Nana. Cooper loves Sandy’s mom and spends a lot of time with her in her room and has never shown an signs of aggression with her.

Even though I reserve the right to muzzle a dog, I don’t if I can help it. I don’t want my first days with a dog associated with muzzling them. In this case I didn’t. I worked Cooper to the point before reaction. Anything more, I switched places with Sandy and instructed her instead.

It was important for Sandy to start working obedience with Cooper in order to establish her role in his life. She absolutely needed to be the leader in his eyes. If not, nothing we did would matter.

Sandy knows that Cooper might never be 100% reliable around strangers but for her this situation is manageable. We talked at length about prevention and how important it is not to put Cooper in certain situations and then what to do if reaction happens.

Although Cooper is still a work in progress, I am very optimistic about Sandy and Cooper’s future.

Nice Work!

P.S. At the time of this writing, Sandy contacted me with a progress report on Cooper. Sadly Sandy’s mom passed. But Sandy was happy to tell me that Cooper was a perfect gentleman while she had people staying with her before and after the memorial service. In fact, now that it is just the two of them Cooper is excited when company comes.

They also recently went to Maine and although Cooper was medicated for the long ride, he did amazingly well. He wasn’t the panicked dog he once was in the car. He also loved playing with Sandy’s great niece and nephew while visiting.

I cannot state enough how excited and happy I am to hear this news. There is a lot of healing to go around for the both of them right now but I’m so happy they have each other to do it.

 Posted by on 09/12/2019

Can’t We Just Play?

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Sep 122019

Shadow’s owner contacted me for advice with training, even though she was an experienced dog owner. She explained that “this one wasn’t like the last one”. Gosh I wish I had a quarter for every time I’ve heard that. Again, welcome to puppyhood.

Shadow seemed to be a little more difficult with jumping and having accidents in the house along with being frightened to pass a certain point on their quiet culdesac.

It’s hard when you have such a friendly dog who just wants to say hello to everyone he meets, hence the jumping. But regardless, not all people like being jumped on by a large dog.

We started with taking the guess work out of housebreaking by getting them on a schedule as well as learning a variety of obedience commands.

It is not unusual for me to try to empower owners to do the work that is necessary to resolve the issues. This was one of those cases.

If you want your dog to succeed, you have to practice. And when you think you’ve practiced enough, practice some more. Obedience is never finished.

I’m happy to report that Shadow and his MORE confident owner have done extremely well. Working as a team makes things a lot easier.

Nice job!

 Posted by on 09/12/2019

Teaching Children Early

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Aug 082019
Rex, Yorkie/Bichon Mix, Raynham, MA

Rex’s owners contacted me because they were having a few important issues that needed immediate attention. Since they were first time dog owners, they weren’t sure what to do and how to go about doing it.

Unfortunately, after a little conversation with them, we don’t believe Rex came from a reputable breeder after all, which explained a lot about the behaviors he was exhibiting.

Without going into a lot of detail, we managed to finally get housebreaking under control, as well as the family working on socialization constantly, and curing Rex of his nighttime anxiety.

And although Rex is a little on the skittish side (but getting so much better daily), there is one person that this pup can’t wag enough for and that is for this adorable little girl. Because she is the perfect age to start training her dog, I quickly enlisted her on the things she could do to be part of Rex’s training. Her dog…. also her responsibility.

With consistency I’m happy to relay that Rex is doing much better with housebreaking (just a little more tweaking required), which is nothing compared to getting a good night sleep. Rex can now get through the entire night without barking until sunrise. Hooray!!!

As far as Little Miss goes, she can be my assistant any day, no teeth and all!

 Posted by on 08/08/2019

The Gentle Giants

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Aug 042019
Bruce, St. Bernard, Plymouth, MA

It’s not very often you get to train a big teddy bear, so I always cherish those moments when they come along.

Bruce’s parent’s contacted me because at 4 months of age and still growing, they needed to know how to handle such a big boy.

Now St. Bernard’s aren’t necessarily known for their obedience skills, but never judge a book by it’s cover, right? Well Bruce did phenomenally well with everything we taught him.

So the next time you see one of these beautiful giants, don’t let their size intimidate you, because not only are they super sweet, but they are also very smart and just might be able to show your dog a thing or two.

 Posted by on 08/04/2019

Bring on the Labs

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Jul 312019
Hunter & Lexi, Laborador Retrievers, Middleboro, MA 

Hunter and Lexi’s mom contacted me, because Lexi (black lab) was the newest addition to the family and even though Sue was an experienced dog owner, she felt she needed a little guidance to correct the things she was having difficulty with and maybe to do a little brushing up with Hunter.

We focused on Lexi first and addressed all her puppy misbehaviors. Honestly, aside from Sue wanting to pull her hair out a few times, in my opinion Lexi truly was a good girl. She was a puppy. Welcome to puppyhood.

One of Lexi’s biggest problems is that she wasn’t being mentally exercised. That in exchange gave way to too much pent up energy and no place to put it. It wasn’t enough that she and Hunter had each other to play with for hours on end. She needed more, which is what she found with obedience training.

And even though Hunter hadn’t been formally worked in a long time, it wasn’t long before he picked back up everything he had been taught years before.

I was so happy to spend time with Sue and her beautiful dogs. Even happier that we were able to accomplish the goals we set in such a short time.

The best part was that although these dogs demonstrated how smart and obedient they could be, they still knew how to pour on the “class clown personalities” that only labs can.

Great work!

 Posted by on 07/31/2019
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