Archive for the ‘canine behavior’ Category

The Yellow Dog Project – Spread the Word by Marilee Cole

The Yellow Dog Project was started by Tara Palady, a Canadian Trainer,, as a signal for people to ask before approaching someone else’s dog.

What a great idea ! The Yellow Dog Project, , encompasses more than fearful, reactive dogs.  The Yellow ribbon is an indicator to just give the dog some space. A dog could be from recovering from surgery, have a medical handicap,be an older dog that is just a little grumpy, could be a therapy dog  that when working isn’t supposed to interact because he/she is “working”, could be a dog that is in training and learning a career or to be a better citizen.

I am very active in a local dog rescue and many times these dogs need distance while they gain confidence, learn manners and/or learn to trust, again.  Many times people 644370_10151492513949452_1849643250_ncome up to dogs  with their dog straining on the end of the leash trying to “just  say ‘Hi” and then they almost always say,” but my dog is friendly”…. well, their dog may be but yours may not be.   Once, more people become familiar with this idea, people will be able to walk their dogs without being uneasy of possible encounters with the “friendly” dog or person out there !  It is important to always be your dog’s advocate.

The Yellow Project is giving your dogs and you a voice and a choice !  There are some companies out there that are making wonderful leash sleeves that say many things from, Therapy Dog to Adopt me ! It is all the same movement.  Some will even customize them.  They are colorful, fun and say something.

I applaud Tara and The Yellow Dog Project, please share their website and let’s keep this going around the world !

Physical and Mental Stimulation for your Dogs

Mental Stimulation for you DogDogs Need for Physical and Mental Stimulation by Marilee Cole

Everyone knows that dogs need physical exercise.  Keeps them in shape, healthy, in good condition and a  good weight – just like people.   Dogs also need mental stimulation – just like people.

Training your dog is a great source of both physical and mental stimulation whether it is for a dog sport or for pet obedience and household manners.  Going for a walk is also a great source of physical and mental stimulation.  When going for a walk, let your dog stop occasionally to sniff and, as John Steinbeck said in his book “Travels with Charlie”,” check out the guest register”.  Checking the guest register is like us reading a book or the newspaper.Even something simple like taking your dog with you in the car when you run an errand.   It is some fun bonding time , as well, as letting your dog get out and see the world.

Life is different than it was several years ago, when dogs were our companions that greeted us when we came home and went for walks with us and that was pretty much the extent of their world.   A friend at that time made the comment that she thought dogs must think we all worked at vet’s offices because that was the only place they ever went.  So, therefore, they must think that is where we went when they weren’t with us because that was all they knew.  Now,  dogs are so much more to us than just the household companions… they are our friends and like friends, we want to do things with them, share experiences with them and spend more and more time with them.  Change is good  🙂

So, let’s treat our friends well….. most dogs spend a fair amount of time on their own.  Think how boring life would be if you didn’t leave the house and yard for days on end with no interaction with anyone other than your family.  For some, this would be nice but not for a lifetime.

There are some fun games that you can do that will help keep your dogs mentally stimulated.  Some examples…..  find some smelly treats ( a can of sardines is good!)hide some of the treats in the yard- in bushes, under chairs,  it’s like hiding easter eggs…then let your dog outside and let them find them.  Teach them nosework games that you can play in the house !

Take a muffin tin, place a couple of treats in one or two of the bottom tins, cover all of the openings with tennis balls and let them find the treat !   Put a treat under an upside down clear plastic bowl- let them see you place the treat and then they will scoot the bowl over the floor trying to figure out how to get the treat !

There are many, many more games that you can play with your canine that will encourage the dog to think and let them have fun with you AND they get to use their brains !   Have fun with it  🙂  !!

Albert Einstein could have been a Dog Obedience Trainer ! by Marilee Cole

“Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein

I wonder if Albert Einstein had a dog ?   This certainly pertains with training your dog.

Everyday scenario:   You (hypothetical) take your dog out for a walk.  Sunshine is walking along nicely, enjoying the company of his BFF and the beautiful day.  You stop at the mailbox and ask Sunshine to “sit”.  Sunshine is watching the cars go by and doesn’t “sit”.  You ask , again…. Sunshine still doesn’t “sit”, you then ask a third time… still no response.  By this time you are irritated because you know that Sunshine knows how to “sit”, he does it all the time at home, so you jerk on the leash, raise your voice and say “Sunshine, I said, sit.”  Sunshine looks at you and sits.

Same scenario:  but with a different ending.  You take Sunshine for a walk , stop at the mailbox and ask Sunshine to sit and he sits !  You praise him … what a great boy !!!  pet him, get your mail and walk home.

What made the difference?  First scenario:  Sunshine has learned, he doesn’t have to sit until the 4th request and the tug on the leash.  Why?  Because when training Sunshine you didn’t communicate that when you ask for a command, you want the command on the first request.  Sunshine also may have been so enthralled by all the great looking cars going by that your request became background noise and a physical prompt (hand on his bottom) would have reminded him he was with you. Training with physical prompts is another form of communication.  The inflection of your voice definitely got his attention but Sunshine was probably thinking, ” Wow !  What made my BFF so angry, I had better sit.”  So, Sunshine, sat out of intimidation not out of desire to please you.

Training  with physical prompts will help the dog understand what you want and will help build the social bond with your dog.  Training with consistency will help the dog understand and respond the first time you  ask.  Remember, when your dog becomes rock solid at home, up the challenge and train in a new location… and even in the new location you are still training.  When do dogs learn ?  ALL the time, not just when we are ” training”  them.

Meet Cheeky Dog Obedience Training

QuinnSeems like a funny name for Dog Training business doesn’t it ? Well, most dogs start out not knowing or understanding what we are asking them to do and we assume that they are being stubborn or “cheeky” ! In reality, we don’t speak dog and they don’t speak people. So, we need to find a common way to communicate. Since, we provide the shelter, the food and the care, we get to decide how that communication is going to be. If we can communicate with fairness, a gentle touch, positive rewards, a kind voice and fun, we will have the foundation for a loving, relationship with our dog.

I was blessed with a Border Collie puppy a couple of years ago who has taught me more than any other dog or person in my life. I call him my Cheeky Monkey because he is so much fun and always has a smile on his face in everything he does because he was raised with love and positive rewards. He goes everywhere, does everything, will try anything and never knows he is blind. He loves life – as all dogs should.

So, Cheeky Dog Obedience is built on the simple principle that dogs are intelligent, want to please, need to understand what we are asking, need to be rewarded for the behavior we want and not be rewarded for the behavior we don’t. It is our responsibility to ensure the training is fair, positive and fun ! I have found that dogs learn much faster, if they are trained with fun ! (Kind of like kids, I am told)

I’m Marilee Cole and I  teach basic dog obedience and the classes are active and positive. The handlers must have a cheerleader attitude for their dogs and be looking forward to a true partnership. I look forward to meeting you soon !

T-Touch Seminar

T-Touch Seminar w/ Certified Trainer:  Rita Nixon

This phenomenal technique has helped countless animals around the world.

Tellington TTouch, is a unique approach to animal training and care developed by internationally known trainer, teacher, and author, Linda Tellington-Jones. Based on understanding and respect for our animal friends, this gentle method promotes well-being and adaptive behavior through an integrated approach that helps to reduce stress and build confidence. The foundation of the Tellington Method is a specific form of light touch known as TTouch®, which induces a state of relaxation and increased body awareness in animals and people alike. The combination of the TTouch body work with unique movement exercises improves focus and attention, allowing optimal learning to take place.  By using a variety of other tools that also assist the animal to experience a sense of confidence in previously frightening or challenging situations, even the most difficult problems are often eliminated with just a few sessions.  The Tellington Method also provides people with a wonderful means of deepening the bond they share with their animal companions.

This Seminar will cover:

  • Groundwork
  • Massage/Touch
  • Bodywork
  • Wraps
  • Communication

Certified T-Touch Trainer:  Rita Nixon


Overweight Dogs- Canine Conditioning Program

Understanding Canine Behavior with the “Cognitive Canine Social Interaction” Seminar

Your dog’s “canine behavior” is commonly blamed for many of the problems you have with your pet.  However, with a little help from Lisa Lit, we are learning that animal behavior is dependent on several factors, one specifically being how we interact with our four-legged friend in order to help him know how to respond in various situations.

Lisa helps us to understand a little about her background regarding research of the canine cognitive mind.  She also offers insight into some of the issues we deal with on a daily basis with our canine family member.  And understanding the humans’…that means us, role in the process of training our pups.

While success in training a dog is often measured by positive changes in dog behaviors, owner behavior and the interactions between dog and owner can have dramatic effects on these successes. Cognitive processes, such as attention, motivation, and memory, impact learning in both dogs and their owners. Both performance and everyday living environments require flexibility and decision-making, thereby necessarily activating these cognitive processes. Because responses cannot always be optimally learned through traditional conditioning methods, understanding how cognition affects dog/owner interactions is important for anyone interested in the best results with their dogs.

This talk introduced cognitive processes; discussed their potential effects on dogs, owners, and the dog/owner dyad; and presented simple training techniques to effectively utilize cognitive abilities of dogs.  Snippets from the talk are provided in the videos.