Dog Behavior & Training

By Amy Robinson, Certified Dog Trainer on August 5th, 2012

Mac’s tail sweeps the floor as we sign in. He stamps his feet in anticipation. Anyone in a wheelchair, which is just about everyone here at the senior care center, is targeted for potential petting. He pulls me toward a smiling woman, plops his big head in her lap, and sighs deeply.

By Amy Robinson, Certified Dog Trainer on July 18th, 2012

We’ve all seen that pitiful look from our dogs as we get ready for work. The tail droops, he pants and his eyebrows crease, heaping guilt on us as we head for the door. Chewed sofa cushions and worse may await us when we return. We want to help break the cycle of stress before the owner went back to work on Monday. Here was our approach—the same may work for your anxious pup.

Ahoy, matey! It’s hot out here. The beach is right at the end of our street. The Atlantic Ocean, aqua-blue and brimming with sea life, greets us as we scamper down the dune. My bully mix, Mac, prefers excavating the wet sand for crabs while I dip in the calm water. I put Mac’s life vest on and coax him in until a gentle swell lifts his feet and he paddles back to shore.

By Amy Robinson, Certified Dog Trainer on June 12th, 2012

Patriotic Americans in fireworks-friendly states can’t wait for July 4th. My dog Mac loves a good barbeque as much as the next hound, but when the pop, pop, pop of firecrackers begin, his tail tucks between his legs and he hurries to a hiding place. Noise phobias are common among dogs of all breeds.

I like to get new training clients in my corner in the first minute. A nearly instant response to a brand-new concept makes the dog look like a genius and earns me astonished looks from the proud owner. During a recent first meeting with two perfectly matched, three month old Goldendoodle brothers, my boat-sized shoes were scaled and my pant leg gnawed. Soft, playful growling sounds came from the copper-colored fur on my feet. “Watch!” I said and pointed to my nose, and made a unique squeak noise with my lips. The puppies ceased their attack on my lower extremities and two furry faces tilted upward, captivated by this new approach to their goofy greeting. Simple, but effective.