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Common Sense Dog Training

Monday, March 21st, 2011

I was just thinking about how many times, we, as dog owners, unwittingly send the wrong message to our dogs. For example – we all want dogs that walk nicely on a leash and yet how many of us regularly have our arm pulled out of the socket from our dog dragging us down the street? Why is that?

Owners will complain that their dog pulls them all the time and they don’t understand what to do about it. But think about the scenario: dog sees something he wants – dog pulls owner to the object – owner follows along behind with arm outstretched – dog gets to the object he wants – SCORE – REWARD - JACKPOT !!!!! The dog was just rewarded for pulling. Really, if you just think about it – common sense would tell you not to let him do it, right?

“Dogs do what works”. I’ve heard that saying for years. PULLING WORKS!! The dog gets what he wants by pulling.

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Now - what do you think would happen if EVERY SINGLE TIME your dog started to pull you, you put his leash on the ground and stood on it – became an immovable object. How long do you think he would continue to pull? If pulling NEVER paid off – would he continue to do it? Probably not. If it NEVER got him what he wanted, he would give it up.

Additionally - what if we started this not allowing him to pull, the very first time you put a leash on him at 7 or 8 weeks? WOW!!! That could be huge.

Then you could add in a little clicker action, so that every time he turned back to you to say “what the heck is the deal?” and thereby put some slack in the leash, you could click to say, “YES that’s it!!! “
WOW – you could have a dog that would walk nicely on a regular basis by the time he was 10 weeks old! How cool would that be?

If your dog is already several years old and is used to pulling, don’t despair. It’s not too late. The key is consistency. If you decide to train him to walk nicely, you just have to make sure that you stop it EVERY SINGLE TIME he tries to pull. Are you up to the challenge? “-)

Just a little food for thought folks.

Happy training!

Weather - Weather - WEATHER!!!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Tuesday morning Tessa (my elderly Great Dane) woke me up at 5:00am to go outside and (of course) EAT!! When I opened the door we were bombarded with tiny icicles hurling themselves at us at lightning speed. It was BAD out there. The wind was HOWLING!!! So what started accumulating on the ground and the roads, was ice. Millions of little chunks of ice that melded together to make our lives miserable.

Winter in Dallas isn’t really like winter at all. I mean, when you can do your Christmas shopping in a tee shirt and shorts, it’s really not winter. I’m from Minnesota, OK? Where winter really IS winter. The only time Dallas really feels like winter is during an ice storm, and I will admit that my Minnesota driving experience doesn’t help me there at all. I can drive on snow – I know how to do that – how to put the car in low and NOT spin your tires. You know, all the standard common sense stuff. But there really isn’t much you can do on ice.

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I HAD to drive to my part time (once a week) job Tues night, and even though I’m only a few minutes away, it was a scary proposition. The streets were just ice. Might as well have been a skating rink. So I started braking early when coming to a stop light. My disk brakes went into overtime. Sliding, sliding, sliding, and finally coming to a stop. Then when the light turned green there was still no guarantee that someone wouldn’t t-bone you because they couldn’t stop for THEIR red light.!!!! Like I said – SCARY!! Luckily there weren’t that many cars on the road.

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The media always amazes me during these weather outbreaks. It’s like they are foaming at the mouth for some juicy weather disaster.

Today is day 3 of the storm. Actually it only stormed once, and the ice that is on the road now is the same ice that’s been there since early Tues a.m. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing new happening right now, weather wise. And yet, the media breaks into my favorite programs every 10 minutes to show us pictures of 18 wheelers stuck on bridges, cars sliding into each other, folks a little short of grey matter standing behind pickups and jeeps – trying to PUSH them on the ice. Now there’s a good idea!

REALLY???? Are you SO desperate for news that we must drag this out for days on end??? I haven’t even been able to get any national weather (except for the ½ hour a day that the national news is on). No Early Show – just local weather. More and More and MORE local weather.

The true irony of the last few days is that Dallas is hosting the Superbowl this weekend. All of the football fan super-money that was supposed to be flowing into Dallas is being hijacked by the ice storm.

I guess God does have a sense of humor after all.

Another Year Gone

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

I can scarcely believe that another year has gone by since my Tessa had her last birthday. She is 11 years young today – and doesn’t look a day over 8.

I will have to admit that she is starting to show some signs of aging – mainly mental signs. She whines for no apparent reason, and barks at us if we walk outside to get the mail, and then come back into the house. I’m not sure if she doesn’t see well, or is just confused. At any rate, she seems to be doing well enough physically, and seems happy for the most part.

We decided to make this years birthday pics a little more dignified than the ones from last year, (with the crown and the boa). So we just took a few shots with some local flowers.

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Happy Birthday, big girl! You’ll get your usual fake meat sloppy joes and real cupcakes. You’re the BOMB!!!