Thursday, January 28, 2010

Buy this book. Read it. Use it. Enjoy peace and happiness.

I've decided now that I'm going to require all of my dog training clients to buy Peggy Tillman's book, Clicking With Your Dog. It's full of simple illustrations and breaks dog training down into very simple steps. I just don't see how one could not be successful using this book.

A lot of trainers want to come across as a rocket science who figured out the secret formula for training dogs. The truth is that we've known these principles in science since before I was born, and our job as trainers is to help people understand them and use them successfully.

I get very energized by seeing the transformation of an owner who is struggling with an "out of control" dog who is causing chaos in the household. It's such a joy to see the lights go on (for both of them) when they inject some structure (to prevent the environment from accidentally rewarding undesired behaviors), introduce the communication of the click and treat (marker and reward), and shape desired behaviors and habits.

Suddenly you have an owner who is delighted to be with her dog, and a dog who finally understands how to fit in and who enjoys a deeper level of affection. (I say "deeper" level since even though the dog was creating chaos and stress in the household, in most cases the owner still loveed the dog and showed that love. After training, the conflict goes away and life is MUCH better.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where do dogs go when there is an evacuation?

People being evacuated to local high schools in S. Calif are told: "Small animals can be taken to the Sunland/Tujunga Recreation Center, the Northeast Animal Shelter, the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Shelter, the Pasadena Humane Society and the Baldwin Park Shelter."

THIS, my friends, is one of many reasons why you need to crate train your dogs. The shelters are already overflowing with homeless pets, and the last thing they need are evacuated pets too. Crate train your dogs and keep them safely in the car where you can care for them personally during an emergency evacuation.

Even in warm weather, you can keep your dogs safely crated with car windows and doors open. There is no way I would ever take my dogs to an animal shelter during an evacuation-- they're staying with me, thank you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

National "Train Your Dog" month!

January is National Train Your Dog Month, and I'll be available at the Peninsula Center Library in Rancho Palos Verdes to anwser dog training questions on Wednesday January 20th from 6:30pm - 8:00pm.

It's my hope and intention to encourage and inspire dog owners to want to learn more about how to humanely and effectively train their dog. I'm a clicker training advocate, and will be giving out clickers that night (and explaining how to use them!).

I'm also working with one of the librarians, Marissa Perley, to make a special table available during January with the library's dog training resources.

If anyone has dog training questions, please feel free to contact me. I'm passionate about helping people have a great life with their dog!