There have been a number of reports lately in and around Denver, Colorado, about coyote attacks. Most notable are some recent attacks on children in Broomfield, and several attacks over the past few years on dogs and people in Greenwood Village. All along the Front Range, there have been reports of close calls with coyotes in back yards and open space walking trails.
A while back, I attended a discussion given by a veterinarian from the CSU Animal Cancer Center, and I learned that this organization is one of the best-equipped animal cancer research facilities in the country. Not only that, but some of their own discoveries have resulted in advances in treating cancer in humans.
Now they are tackling canine obesity. Just as with humans, obesity in dogs can result in many undesirable health detriments, such as heart disease, lack of stamina, and diabetes. It can also exacerbate some genetic deficiencies, such as hip and knee dysplasia.
Do you want your dog to be a Lassie or an Ol' Yeller? It can be done, but it will take time, and you are going to have to earn it. These three principles will point you down the path to perfection.
Sure, I can train your dog to do just about anything you want. But the truth is, I mostly train people.
To train people correctly, you have to care ... about them, their dogs, their situation, their challenges; you have to want to make a difference and be willing to go the extra mile. If you don't, you have no right being in a business where the stakes are so high, for both people and their dogs.
I used to say the best part of my job was seeing a family's joy as their dog bonds with them and becomes an integral, well-adjusted member of the family.
Solving a dog's behavior problems is like peeling an onion. First, you have to wipe away the tears. And second, you must peel the problem one layer at a time.
Few things are as annoying as a dog that jumps up on people to greet them. Not only is he likely to scratch your visitors or muddy their clothes, but he also could cause them to stumble and fall (especially if you have a larger dog and smaller guests). Another concern: dogs seem to be naturally great shots with their paws (as it pertains to human, male anatomy), if you get my drift.
Below are several suggestions to help you train your dog to stop jumping up on people:
Humans habitually precede verbal communication with a name, a relatively unique identifier that attracts the attention of the recipient; we do this with both humans and dogs. If you call a friend's name in a crowded room, the friend will look at you – as will your dog. However, more can be done with a dog's name. For example, retriever trainers teach their dogs to retrieve downed game when the dogs' names are called. This prevents every retriever within earshot from going after a bird when the command “fetch” is given.
A funny thing happened just before Christmas break. I was doing some behavior modification work with a dog-reactive Blue Heeler at Washington Park. We were walking down the path that encompasses the park, hoping to encounter dogs, but the park was nearly empty (typical for a Wednesday morning). I knew any dog we encountered would be a precious training opportunity.