Golden Retriever Labrador Puppy Graduate of Board-and-Train

One of Love Wags A Tail’s recent puppy graduates came to our board-and-train program for the works. She needed to gain confidence, start housetraining, and learn the basic cues of sit, down, stay, and come when called. We also included a trick – roll over.

Buttercup was afraid of things that blew in the wind, objects that were unfamiliar to her, and she was still deciding on whether strangers were worth her trust or not. She loved to play with all the resident dogs and our other board-and-train puppy, so dog-dog interactions were comfortable to her.

She graduated with a lot of training and experiences under her collar. Upon her return home, we have gotten updates on her progress. Her owners are following along on the Love Wags A Tail maintaining the training plans and Buttercup’s future is looking happy and secure.

If you have a dog or puppy who needs a great start on a lifelong maintaining the training plan, contact Love Wags A Tail for an initial interview.

Helen Verte Schwarzmann
Contact me
Certified in Training and Counseling
Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed
Certified Trick Dog Instructor
Your Board-and-Train Dog Trainer for south Florida

Wholesome Halloween Treats For Dogs

Helen Verte Schwarzmann
Contact me
Certified in Training and Counseling
Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed
Certified Trick Dog Instructor
Your Board-and-Train Dog Trainer for south Florida

Relief In Housetraining

I will be moving soon, and I have 4 feral cats I’ve spayed and neutered and cared for, which I’ll take with me. My neighborhood has a multitude of abandoned cats. A Tom cat has been insisting, though, to be part of my cat clan. He is so persistent, by bumping my kitties out of the food bowl, that after months of this, I decided to add him to the pack, which means a neutering/rabies vaccine and an ear notching to prove he’s no longer reproductively capable.

cat_and_dead_ratBefore I took on this morning project, I went to the front yard to feed 3 of my other kitties. I turned under the carport and was a few feet away from a dead rat! A big one. Another one. That’s the 3rd one so far that my kitties have presented me with recently. I am not sure what they think each time I shriek, but apparently it doesn’t bother them enough to stop the gifting.

After I finished cleaning the rat off the ground, properly thanking the cats and then feeding them, I went back to getting ready for the kitty neuter project.

The spay/neuter clinic I take feral cats to charges $37 for the neutering. They also moved further away recently, and I knew the drive would be really tough. I caught the cat in my Hav-a-hart trap this morning, and off we went.

I’d drunk quite a bit of tea and water, and was starting to feel it as we neared the location. To top it off, one exit ramp away from getting closer to the destination, we encountered bumper-to-bumper traffic. So I took the off-ramp off before it, and it was mayhem.

I often wonder what the engineers were on when they designed some of the roads in Florida. It was only because I encountered considerate people, another gift, who let me change my lane after exiting the toll booth from the right to three lanes over, so I could make the left turn I needed to.

We then met up with road construction, and the Garmin itself stopped working once I got to where the street changed directions from south to north. But I found the location, and ran up with the cat, thinking the faster we check in, the faster I can get to a restroom.

tom_cat_caught_for_neuteringWe were 3rd in line. I distracted myself with the scenery until we got to the front, where I immediately asked where a bathroom was. The input director told me I had to go to the gas station behind them. But the good news was, the fee for the cat’s neutering was waived today! Free! That was such a nice surprise. Apparently the county is picking up the bill. And I thanked the input director for all that and more.

I left the cat, and drove to the gas station. What did I see right on the ground? Paper money. A bill. I jumped out of the truck and picked it up. $20! Wow! That was a first, and I thanked the Powers That Be for the gift. I went inside to find out where the bathrooms were and the clerk said the key had broken (seriously), so the bathrooms were unavailable.

By then, I said screw it, and decided to make it home without a pit stop. I drove briskly with only one thing on my mind. Relief. I thought I had made excellent time, and as I turned off the exit to my home, the off ramp was back up as was the street. Geesh! I breathed deeply and waited it out. There was nothing else to do but that.

poodle-fire-hydrant-peeYes, I made it home, quite uncomfortably, but I did. The moment I’d been waiting for was such a relief. I even heard the angels singing! And so I ask you two things. Have you ever been in such a predicament? And wasn’t the moment of relief very self rewarding? Because that’s what it’s like for a dog when he’s been punished, yelled at, hit, nose rubbed in its product, if caught going potty or having done so in the house. The dog becomes scared to eliminate in front of his owner, so he holds it in, sometimes to the peril of comfort. And he waits until the one who punishes him is not looking, so he can finally relieve himself. And the cycle continues. Housetraining is not achieved with this process.

Avoiding the punishment and the relief itself makes all that discomfort worth the wait. This is why punishing a dog for housetraining mistakes makes housetraining all the harder or impossible to accomplish. Never punish a dog for housetraining mistakes.

Learn how to housetrain correctly without punishment, if you want to do it yourself, by purchasing our on-line Housetraining 123 webinar. If you want someone else to do the initial, more difficult part of your dog’s housetraining, contact us for board-and-train rates and availability. We’ll be glad to help your dog feel comfortable eliminating in an appropriate place.

Helen Verte Schwarzmann
Contact me
Certified in Training and Counseling
Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed
Certified Trick Dog Instructor
Your Board-and-Train Dog Trainer for Weston, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, and Hollywood in Broward county south Florida

What It Takes: Preparation

raspberry dudley love wags a tail dog trainingYou’ve got 15 essential items in your cart, so can’t go through the 10 items or less lane. You chose the shortest of the long lines. You’re next up, your turn is near! So you have your reusable bags and ATM card ready. Then the customer in front of you disputes the price on an item, which causes a procession of calling a clerk to go check on the price, which is found out to be labeled on the shelf at a lower price, as the customer said. The manager is called with a magic register key and pushes the right buttons to charge the customer the correct price. The manager leaves as the customer gives the cashier a one hundred dollar bill. After the cashier marks the bill with a counterfeit detector marker, she announces she doesn’t have change. The customer doesn’t have a smaller bill, so you are held up even longer while the cashier seeks out change. The shortest line turns out to be the least efficient at getting you to your destination.

A few days later, you are in the middle of a hot summer weekend relaxing with your dog in the family room. You’re reading a book, your dog’s chewing a nylon bone and you realize the temperature in the house is rising and it’s been a while since the air conditioner has come on. You call for service, explain the problem, and give the technician all the information he asks for. The tech says it sounds like you need a new thermostat and it could be a very easy, inexpensive fix. You’re relieved especially when the a/c tech arrives a couple hours later and confirms his phone diagnosis in person. He goes to his truck, comes back in and announces he doesn’t have the part and needs to go back to home base to get it. You’re antsy as you and your dog wait an additional two hours in the heat for him to return to fix the issue after you’d silently celebrated cool air would be only moments away.

no raspberry dudley love wags a tail dog trainingEither of those situations could have been avoided with preparation. A grocery store clerk missed an outdated sales price on a shelf, didn’t remove it, which led to a price dispute, or the sales price wasn’t entered into the computer. The cashier wasn’t prepared to make change for a large bill. And even though the a/c tech’s diagnosis skills were top-notch, his forethought to check that he had the thermostat in his stock was not.

Lack of preparation can be very frustrating to those who are depending on the preparer. Our emotions go up and down as we’re about to move through a green light of life only to be thwarted by a sudden red light. When we’re ready, willing, and ready to go, slamming the brakes on is exasperating!

Preparation is thinking ahead, and when training a dog, preparation is as important as having a training plan and patience. If you routinely train your dog at the same time each day, or put your bait bag on prior to a training session, or even open the refrigerator door and open that crinkly bag that holds the dog training food, your dog will notice those routines and equate them to training time. And if you’re doing it right, reward-based training means fun, and the dog becomes happy and anticipatory, and is ready to offer behaviors.

If, instead of being prepared as the dog joins in, you step into training unprepared, have to go back to get food, or props, or clicker, then set up the training environment, your dog is taking that same green-light/red-light drive that you go on when working with people who are unprepared. “Go. Not yet. Now? Not yet. I’m doing it! Not yet. But I’m doing it! Cookie?”

Take the time you need to prepare before you add the dog. What is your lesson about? Read the training plan. Will you need a prop such as the dog’s bed or mat? A crate or pedestal? A target stick? Where will the lesson take place? Access to a door? Space to run for a recall? In the car? If it’s outside, where’s the shade on a hot day? Do you have water accessible for you and the dog? Set your environment and props up. What about training food? Is it prepped? Cut up in an appropriate size for the dog? What will you use to contain the training food? A bait bag? A bowl? If a bowl, where will you place it so you have quick access and the dog doesn’t? Do you need sunglasses, a hat, or bug spray? Does the dog need bug spray? Where will you put other pets not involved in the session?

Imagine what you’ll be doing, then make a list of what you’ll need, then prep what’s on the list before you ask the dog to join you. Your dog will happily anticipate the session, but will hold back on offering any behaviors until he’s in the training environment with you. So prep, prep, prep, then have a blast training for rewards with your dog!

For other articles from Companion Animal Psychology‘s #Train4Rewards Blog Party, click the box.

Helen Verte Schwarzmann
Contact me
Certified in Training and Counseling
Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed
Certified Trick Dog Instructor
Your Board-and-Train Dog Trainer for Weston, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, and Hollywood in Broward county south Florida

Happy Mother’s Day

To all my beautiful dog mom clients and all the other dog moms out there. We hope you have a lovely day celebrating mothering, caring, growing kids up, no matter who your kids are.

happy mothers day from love wags a tail dog training