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Ask a Trainer: Help for a Dog Who Growls at Strangers

Q. My newly adopted 2-year-old female golden retriever is lovely with my husband and I, but growls (and has once snapped) at strange men. I realize she was probably abused by some man in the past. How do I help her get over this problem? – via Facebook Messenger A. I would ask a few questions if you were to come to me as a client with this situation. First, how long have you had her? Dogs in a new environment need time to decompress before meeting people. Were the men… Continued

Product Review: The Outward Hound Tail Teaser

The Outward Hound Tail Teaser is one of my favorite dog toys, let me tell you why!   When I visit my training clients, I always have toys with me to make sure that their dogs like them before they buy them. This is because some dogs might be afraid of the noises that the toys make, or not like things that move quickly. Today I want to tell you about one that is in my top two favorite toys. The Tail Teaser is a flirt pole. What is that,… Continued

Is Walking the Dog a Dreaded Chore?

One of the biggest complaints I hear as a trainer is that dogs pull, are reactive toward people, or toward other dogs. Dog Walking Pro Tips I have different ways of addressing all of those things, but can give you one hint before your walk with any dog. Wear them out a little before the walk. I love to take them out to the front yard on leash and sprinkle treats around for them to search for. This gets them in a sniffing mood and it is commonly said that… Continued

Ask a Trainer: How Can I Help My Reactive Rescue Dog?

Q: Our rescue dog is so reactive when he sees other dogs, whether through the window or on walks. It is making it difficult to walk him. I don’t know what to do to help him. – Kate A: Hi Kate, great question! This situation is going to take practice and consistency, but you can definitely make it much better. Start with figuring out what his favorite food is, for example, peanut butter or cream cheese. Have those things handy on a LickiMat® (frozen) or on a long handled spoon… Continued

I Saved a Dog’s Life Today!

An Urgent Call A few months ago I received a voicemail on my business phone from a man who was very distraught. He asked that I call him back right away, and I could tell that it was urgent. I called him back and he told me that his dog had bitten him in the face the night before. I asked for more details and he told me that he could tell that she didn’t want him to kiss her in the face because she was backing away, but he… Continued

Ask A Trainer: Tension in a Multidog Household

Q: After two weeks with us, my foster girl had a fight with my male dog. Both huskies. They now walk circles around each other and have low growls.  How do I get them comfortable around each other again? I would love to take them to the park in my car but I am scared I will have a fight break out in the car.   -R. A: Thank you for the question, R.! My first suggestion would be to reach out to a Pet Professional Guild (PPG) Dog Trainer in… Continued

Dogs Who Growl with Teeth, Oh My!

My dog growled at me today and that made me happy! Why, you ask? It is very simple actually; he is a rescue dog that had a bite history when I adopted him.   Warning Signs   He is a dog that had been punished for growling, and so he no longer growled when upset or scared. His name is Oso and he has turned out to be an amazing dog. He just needed love, and to be taught that warning signs are acceptable and appreciated in this house. He… Continued