Posts Tagged ‘dog training’

Micah’s October Challenge

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Halloween presents an especially difficult scenario for the socially challenged.

Dogs that have social “issues” have an especially hard time on this night of nights, with ghosts and goblscaryins running through the neighborhood, ringing doorbells and yelling “trick or treat”. Can you imagine what they must be thinking? Don’t worry mom - I’ll protect you!!!!!

Micah tried REALLY hard to be a good boy tonight. (I temporarily have a couch sitting almost directly in front of my front door. Not great decorating, but hey – it’s just temporary. The couch is on its way out).

So Micah planted himself on the arm of the couch and sat patiently waiting for his reward for being good. And he WAS good.

That is until the doorbell rang, or he heard the squeals of the kids running up the walk. As soon as I opened the door he would leave his designated spot on the couch to run to the door. Try as he might, it was a tough task for him to hold his position.

Dog training is a process. Sometimes it’s a L-O-N-G process. He’s definitely not an automaton. He’s a feisty little terrier boy, high on the scale of reactivity. And so, we continue to tame the wild beast within. Stay tuned.

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.


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!

Another New Year

Monday, January 31st, 2011

OK – so it’s the last day of January, and if I’m going to write about my New Years Resolutions, I guess I should do it by today, huh?

Well – as always – I’ve given it quite a bit of thought. I really want this year to be about balance. Yin-yang. I want to become a more well-rounded person. All things in moderation. This year is not going to be “all dogs – all the time”. Don’t get me wrong – if you know anything about me at all, you know that I’m NUTS about my dogs. They ARE what makes my life go round. In fact I am vowing to spend more time actually training this year; not only Micah, but Ruby too. But let’s face it – dogs may be the main thing, but they’re not the ONLY thing.

My idea to become more “well rounded” started shortly after Christmas. I was bored one night and felt like reading something FUN!!! I haven’t read anything but dog training, or dog behavior, or dog agility, etc. for FAR TOO LONG. I haven’t read a novel in YEARS!!!! So I hopped on Amazon, found a book and downloaded it to my Kindle. It was GREAT!!! Wow – reading for pleasure. What a concept! I hope to do more of that in 2011.

Not only do I miss reading, I miss writing too. Blogging specifically. As I think I’ve said before – doesn’t everyone like to ramble about the useless crap in their life? It’s been so long since I’ve done it, I really couldn’t even remember how. Sad. So I’m hoping to keep up a little more with that. Certainly not daily, but maybe weekly. Maybe. I’ll try.

I also want to reinstate my running program. Well, I can’t honestly call it a running program yet; more like a walking program with some sprinting here and there. My long term goal would be to actually go for a rrrrrrr-uuuuuuuu-nnnnnnnnn! To run like the wind! I would LOVE to be able to run even a mile or two. Don’t know if that will ever happen, but I’m going to keep working on it.

Of course – losing weight is also on the list. It’s ALWAYS on the list. I have already started on that journey. Lost a few pounds, but have many, many more to go. I would love for this to be the year that I get to throw on a pair of skinny jeans – tuck my shirt in and go. That would be wonderful beyond belief. Nuf said.

Then there’s the house. Ohhhhhh – the house. This is the year I’m hoping to get it in order. NO – not hoping – I’m DOING IT!!!!! I AM doing it!!!

So – there you go. Now that I’ve put it out there in cyber-space, it somehow makes it more real. Makes me more accountable. Accountability can be a good thing. Whatever works.

Wow – can you imagine actually DOING all (or even most of) the things you resolved to do in January? That would be “wunderbar”!!! Stay tuned!!
(It’s good to be back).

Four Paws Training School

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my dog training web site has recently been updated. The information is mostly the same, with a few updates, but it has (I think) a rather snazzy new look - created by my Webmaster.

The site is http://4pawsdogs.com

(When you click on the link, you’ll get the old site for a couple of seconds and then it will switch to the new one).

It gives a brief bio on me, some background of some of my earlier dogs, and of course a little on my training philosophy. On the “links” button you can check out my favorite dog-related books and some my favorite toys. Of course there are pics of the dogs. I always have PLENTY of pics of the dogs! :-)


If you’re looking for a trainer in the DFW area, please check out the site, and give me a call if you’re so inclined. Training Rocks!!!


Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

I’m new to blogging. Brand new. I’m a slightly older-ish not so computer savvy gal, who’s just struggling to keep up with the hipper (see, there’s a dead giveaway right there) twittering, text messaging, you-tube watching crowd. And yes, I know these things have been around for some time. But they are still relatively new to me. Now you know where I’m coming from!

Most of my blogs will probably be dog related in some way, with an occasional entry relating to whatever foolishness might be cluttering my mind at the moment. Hence the name “random ramblings”.

Mickey Schufman