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…]

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…]

Five tips to make the most of train your dog month

San Diego Dog Training - Train Your Dog Month - clicker trainingJanuary is the Association of Pet Dog Trainers‘ (APDT) National Train Your Dog Month. Falling smack-dab in the midst of our New Year’s Resolutions, Train Your Dog Month is a month dedicated to making dog training a part of our everyday lives. People are busy, and, if you’re like me, your greatest wish may be for “more hours in the day”. So, as the month continues, here are some tips to help us all continue to work dog training into our lives each day.

  1. Set small goals. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the goals we set for our dogs’ behavior. Start small. Think about something you know your dog can handle, and focus on a behavior that’s just slightly harder. [Read more…]