Understanding wolves helps us to understand dogs better. However, research over the last twenty years has radically altered our understanding about the nature of wolves. And while dogs are almost genetically identical to wolves, tens of thousands of years of domestication have created significant differences that should be taken into account by dog trainers and owners.
As a dog trainer in Denver, Colorado, I occasionally am asked to train dogs who are skittish, suspicious, or downright fearful of me. Since most dog training requires me to be in close proximity to the dog, this can be problematic - in more ways than one.
Dogs are keen observers of humans. Their ability to read our body language, tone and even facial expressions is well-known among dog trainers, and good trainers capitalize on that knowledge to make themselves and their students more effective dog handlers.
But not only are dogs aware of how we act, they are cognizant of whether we act, and sometimes doing nothing at all is a powerful way to teach a dog what is relevant and what is not.
...that is the question! And it can be a confusing one to answer. While many prospective dog-wanters at least consider adopting, they sometimes have legitimate concerns.
Every time there is a disaster in the world, photos of stranded, injured and abandoned animals inevitably surface on the Internet. Since Hurricane Katrina leveled New Orleans, it seems awareness of the plight of domesticated animals has increased. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have produced their share of animal-survivor stories too.
Children have little inhibition around strange dogs and often will charge right in for the hug. While a well socialized dog may tolerate such an approach, a more shy dog may move behind its owner, try to run or even bite.
Whether the dog is well socialized or not, children should be taught how to approach a dog, and owners should understand how to handle the inevitable approach of children.
Perhaps the most fulfilling part of my work as a dog trainer in Denver, Colorado, is seeing the bond between dogs and their owners deepen. Bonding is extremely important; the deeper the bond, the less likely a dog is to be relinquished to a shelter. Not only that, but the quality of life for both the owner and the dog increase when the bond deepens.
I. Thou shalt keep thy dog current on his shots. Your dog can contract diseases from the things it tastes on the ground, from insects that bite him, and even from other dogs' saliva. For a few bucks, you can protect him from a miserable death. There are discount clinics all over the place, so sacrifice a few lattes for your dog.
It doesn’t take many visits to the veterinarian to make dog owners consider purchasing pet insurance. Vet bills are becoming increasingly expensive, and a serious ailment can drain your bank account as fast as a human medical bill. When considering insurance, the big question is: Is it worth it? Below are a few considerations to help you process that question.
Clients often ask about the best venue for training their dogs. There are three basic options: group classes, private lessons, and board and train services. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. There are five considerations when making your decision: your goals, your dog's needs, effectiveness, convenience and pricing. Below are my thoughts on each training venue.
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