Sunday, April 26, 2009

Puppies, Toys, & Training

Getting a new puppy is always exciting, and part of the excitement that goes along with it is going to the pet store and getting the new dog bed, the puppy treats, and the new dog toys. Its fun stuff.

Godiva got a new pink bed and some toys her first day away from her litter at 8 weeks old. The toys are the important part and though people usually buy them out of the cuteness factor, toys are a very important part of a puppies beginning “training”.

Puppies have a tendency to chew and mouth a lot. They tend to chew on whatever is in front of them, which could be anything from your shoe to your fingers. Puppies just like big dogs learn and think in pictures so it’s very important to start from the beginning to give your puppy an item that can be chewed, or was meant to be chewed every single time the attempt to go for something that shouldn’t be in your puppies mouth is reached for.

This simple concept can save you many dollars and the grief of ruined items that very well could be your “favorite” something! Repetition will give your puppy in the end a clear picture of what to chew and amazingly enough they will start to reach for those things that you have taught them are ok to have in their mouth. Important to this is that you have been consistent with giving your puppy the right toy and that you follow the major rule of supervision.

Not all toys are the same and some dogs chew things to pieces more easily so be aware of what kind of toys you are buying. Small pieces that come off aren’t good. Just like a baby, a dog will put anything in their mouth and swallow it if it’s small enough.

So get some good quality toys and start your training with your puppy while playing with your new bundle of joy.

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To find schedule dog training events online follow us on Facebook as well. And as always we love to do private dog and puppy training lessons and camps with you and your new puppy or dog so contact us with all your dog training needs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dog Training Web Broadcast Review

As a professional dog trainer my number one pet peeve is the fact that so many people “try” to get dog training for their dog and the dog ends up untrained anyway. Granted there are several reasons but many times the owner follow through just doesn’t happen.

When I think about the reason why that is the case, it comes down to a very simple answer. Dog owners are not dog trainers. And though going to a few lessons gives you some ideas, sometimes the follow threw is difficult, and the only reason is it’s very hard to get the continued follow up you need.

To solve that K9 Coach developed and online program for our dog training campers, and private lessons. A weekly live dog training web broadcast, along with a private online training site add that personalized, accessible extra that helps dog owners to get to the “trained dog” place they had intended on in the first place.

Here is a note I received after last week’s web broadcast. Such a cool thing... people able to get real help for their dog and have fun doing it.

Really great web cast, such good reinforcement for us "1st 90 days" peeps!

We were reminded, our dogs won't be perfect, they don't need to be perfect and this whole process is about us teaching them and ourselves to be a calm and happy family....that's so important to remember as its so easy to get caught up on reaching this end goal of a perfectly obedient dog.

We also talked about how to bring in new associations, the timing of the association and how to build advanced responses from a group of basic commands.

Also, a really good question was about what to do when other dogs approach when on a walk with your dog...key is to act early, get your dog focused on you get them working.

Finally, we were reminded that you can always go to your fail safe, the sit command. JT really works sit with all her dogs, I know Bear will do sit at some level of distraction and for him, being fear aggressive, that is really awesome.

Learning more and making the most of our first 90 days!”
Lisa & Bear

For more information on our San Diego & Temecula Dog Training Camps, Online Dog Training Program, & Live Weekly Dog Training Web Broadcasts contact us here.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

How To Potty Train A Puppy

Of all the habits that dogs or puppies do, the very worst seem to come in as not being able to get the “potty training” thing down. In fact it very well could be the number one reason dogs or puppies end up in shelters.

The rules of potty training are not all that difficult. Truth be known, they are very simple. It’s just that it is something you can’t let go for a day, or forget about as you get very busy with a project for more than a few hours.

It is as simple as confine your puppy when you aren’t able to supervise 100%. First thing you do when you take your puppy out of the crate is go outside to go “potty”. You have to be patient, walk around a bit, give it time. Should it not happen (the potty thing) you CANNOT take the puppy back in start playing or let the puppy have some “free” time... that is a sure fire way for an accident to happen and a very vicious cycle of your puppy going potty in all the wrong places.

If you puppy does do the duty, back to the crate, kennel, or the pup’s own little bedroom as I like to call it. Try again in 15 to 20 minutes. Lets say your puppy does go... cool... spend some time playing, a little supervised freed time, and just to be sure take your pup out again before resting time back in the kennel.

Always take your puppy out after eating or drinking, and after a play session. And here is a BIG one... you have to get up in the night to let you puppy out most likely several times at least through 14-16 weeks of age, depending on the size of your puppy.

Toy breeds and smaller dogs are going to go to the long end of that 16 week schedule needing to go out multiple times during the night. It is a huge deal and people do make the mistake of not committing to the sleep deprivation it takes to get a solidly house trained dog.

So, get ready for the big tip of the day... the smaller the dog breed, the more times you need to prepare to get up in the night from 8 to 16 weeks.... or uhhh probably 20 or 24 weeks!! :)

The good news: it will be worth it big time in the end, and the bonding with your dog will be better than you had anticipated.

Watch for more potty training in the moment stories as K9 Coach of San Diego is in the midst of puppy potty training Godiva, an almost 10 week old Pocket Beagle.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dogs and The Good Life They Bring Our Families

The family dog used to live out side with a big bowl of food, usually table scraps, water, and a dog house. No more. Our dogs are part of the family. Our dogs live in the house, eat organic dog food out of clean bowls, and many even sleep in our beds.

The only question is how much joy they bring us due to house training versus the dog that is a thorn in your side at times!

Even that dog that has chewed 4 pairs of your flip flops... and that favorite pair really pissed you off. Has his own design in the frame of your couch and bolts out the door if it’s slightly opened brings us some sort of joy when we get the wag and big dog smile at the mere sight.

Everyone knows though that the “good dog” gets to do more and brings way more fun, joy and peace to our lives. The thought of “dog training” can seem like such a regimented thing in the midst of everything else we do in our lives, that sometimes it just doesn’t get done, and unfortunately in the end, everyone misses out including the dog.

So what to do to make it not seem so overwhelming? This dog training thing at least... well start with the small things.

If you have a dog that seems a bit out of control even though your love him or her to the end, and just want to start having more fun, start with a simple “sit” for everything. Sit to get a pet. Sit to get a treat. Sit to go out the door.

In your mind make it that simple. If it’s even for a second the “sit” will establish the first step. Build on how long you can get your dog to sit. Then start adding distraction. Most important, start with simple and follow through. And feel free to get a hold of us at K9 Coach if you get stuck and need some help!

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Friday, April 3, 2009

NPR, The Family Dog, Training, & Happiness

From San Diego Dog Training
NPR tends to discuss stories that effect those in our communities we exist in a very real way. Yesterday NPR did a piece on the place the dog has taken in our lives, and clearly described why dogs have become some an important family member.

Dogs bring us so much happiness in times of uneasiness simply because no matter what your bank account balance says, or who you had to deal with today: the wag, coupled with the adoring eyes your dog has at the mere sight of you is no doubt a fantastic feeling.

We truly feel lucky that we work with dogs every single day here at K9 Coach for many reasons. We get the “looks” from the dogs that melt you. The looks that make you appreciate the small moments in life.... And we get the moments of people in our lives that are so relieved, pleased, and feel the real joy of a dog that is an absolute joy to be around even if they came to camp with a few bad habits, they always leave as good dogs!

On many occasions the quote “Investing in Dog Training Camp was worth wayyy more than the money in the overall happiness of my life.” What a greater sense of accomplishment can one have other than that?

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