8 Ways to reset when you get frustrated with your dog

Sometimes, training your dog isn’t really about training your dog. Sometimes, it’s about compassion, patience, and forgiving yourself and your dog for the times either of you fall short.

Whether you lost your cool and yelled at your pup, set him up for failure instead of success, or just ran low on the patience to give him the support he needs, here are a few ways to reset when things aren’t going well.

1. Play with your dog. Many dogs love a good game of tug of war, and it can help you both burn off bad vibes and bond again. If tug’s not your dog’s speed, try a quick round of fetch. Or, try a search-based game, and watch your dog enjoy doing something he naturally loves.

2. Breathe in; breathe out. When your dog does something frustrating, let it be a cue for your behavior. Breathe in slowly to a count of 5, and blow it back out just as slowly. Smile at your dog at the end of the breaths, and try to move on or redirect him in a more helpful way.

3. Change your tone. If you’ve started yelling, or if you notice yourself getting unnecessarily stern, try changing your [Read more…]

Five second rule for petting dogs

Woof! Dog Training - petting a dogI attended Grisha Stewart’s seminar on BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training) this past weekend, and she shared with us a great idea called the “5 Second Rule”. The 5 Second Rule says that we should pet dogs for a maximum of five seconds at a time, in order to give them a chance to tell us when they’d no longer like to be pet.

It’s amazing how much we bulldoze dogs when it comes to their body language. Often times, even our own dogs, are not particularly fond of the things we do – petting them rudely on the head, hugging them, pulling on their fur, or sometimes just petting them in general when they’d rather not be touched. If we pay attention to their body language – and give them choices – they will clearly answer the questions, “Would you like to be pet right now?” and “Would you like me to pet you some more?”  [Read more…]

What does that yellow ribbon mean? The Yellow Dog Project!

The Yellow Dog Project, as their Facebook page explains, “is a global movement for parents of dogs that need space (aka DINOS, Dogs In Need Of Space).”

The Yellow Dog Project helps dog owners identify dogs who are uncomfortable around other dogs and need space in order to keep their cool and stay healthy and safe. Many times, dogs who are hurt, scared, nervous, reactive, elderly, or in training are forced to deal with daily incidents of off-leash or out of control dogs, rushing up to greet them while they’re out on a walk. The Yellow Dog Project is a way to identify these dogs so that other owners know to keep their dogs closer, or give the Yellow Dog and his human time to get out of the way, when passing them in public. [Read more…]