Posts Tagged ‘make’

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Nobody sets out to make mistakes but we are only human and
mistakes go with the territory. I have been observing and living
with dogs for over forty years and I have made many of the
mistakes that I write about in this post, and I want to share with
you what I have learned.

The first time I decided to take it upon myself to get a dog, I
was ten years old, now mind you I had already had two years’
experience working with and being responsible for our two
farm dogs. We had two male German Shepard’s, Nipper
guarded the farm and family, and Sharkey brought the cattle in
from the field as well as provided considerable back up for
Nipper should there be a threat.

When I turned eight years old my Uncle Eldon, told me one
morning at breakfast, that I was old enough to help the family
run the farm where ever I could, so my first job was to tend to
the dogs in the morning.

I learned a lot about dogs and what makes them tick in that
first two years. In my tenth year during the month of February
we lost Sharkey to a pack of coyotes, and thinking back, struck
the whole family like a sledge-hammer. It really felt like we lost
a family member.

It took some time for us to move forward.

In July of that same year I went to the livestock sale with our neighbor
like I always did during the summer when school was out. I didn’t get up
that morning thinking I was going to get a dog today, but we had been
talking about getting a new dog to help us with the cattle.

As it happened I walked into the bay area where farmers would
display the puppies, and kittens they had for sale or give away,
and the first thing I saw, actually the only thing I saw was this
beautiful grey, white and tan puppy. With one ear flopped over
she came straight up to me and lay down at my feet..I was
hooked, I knew right then and there I had to find some way to
take this pup home with me.

I will save the rest of this story for another day, because I do
not want to stray too far off topic, needless to say I did bring
the pup home with me and began my journey of making
mistakes and figuring out how to correct them. I hope by
sharing some of what I have learned with you I can save you
time and help you figure out where you may have been making
some of these mistakes and what you can do about it.

Mistake #1

Having little or no knowledge about the breed of the dog you

For example someone sees a friend who owns a Rottweiler, and he says,
“Man what a beautiful looking dog, I gotta get me one of those!”,
and without becoming informed about the Rottweiler breed, he proceeds
to go out the next day and get a Rottweiler, only to discover the hard
way there’s much more to this power breed than being good-looking.

Sadly the shelters are full of dog that people got for this wrong

You should always do your homework, read as much as you can
about the breed of dog you are thinking about getting, make
sure to ask people questions who own this breed what their
experiences has been. Then when you sure you can meet the
needs of this breed and are ready to provide this breed with a
balanced and stable home, make the decision. You will then be
prepared to better handle situations when they arise, and they

Mistake #2

Spur of the moment decision to buy.

We have all heard about this scenario, a family is taking a nice
Sunday drive down the road and suddenly they see a sign, Puppies
For Sale or Give Away.

The kids start singing, “We want a puppy!”, and one
parent says to the other, ” We told the kids if they were good
and kept their grades up, they could get a puppy, maybe we
should get one?.” Then without further discussion, except
about which one they should get, the pup is in the car, and on its
way home with them.

The problem comes later,

When the new wears off and the kids no longer feel the same because the
puppy poops and bites and jumps, on them. and Mom and Dad just got it for
the kids, and don’t want the extra work, so sadly another dog ends up in the

You should always plan to get a dog or puppy, have a family discussion,
it is not going to be just your dog, it will be the family dog, and each
family member has to be dedicated to taking responsibility for its training
and making sure basic needs are met.

Mistake #3

Interacting with your dog as if they were a person.

This can be very mentally damaging to a dog. While it is a very human thing
to do, it only makes your dog more confused, and can create
unwanted behaviours caused by the dog’s frustration. Bottom
line, your dog is an animal, and should be treated as such, at
least most of the time.

Your dog should be seen as animal first, breed second, and
family pet last.

Out of an entire day, only 1 hour should be spent treating your dog as a
family member or human, the rest of your day should be spent interacting
with your dog as they would be treated in nature, as an animal.

You must provide strong leadership, and create clear and consistent guidelines
to maintain control, and balance with your dog; this will allow your dog to
live in a happy state of mind.

Mistake #4

Inconsistency with daily training routine.

I see it every day,loving dog owners everywhere get caught up in the chaos of
life, and sometimes training their dog isn’t at the top of their
list. Our days are filled with activities that we simply can’t
avoid, and among the hustle & bustle of everyday life, days
can go by before we realize that the dog hasn’t been walked or
played with.

If a dog is left on their own, they will create their own routine
of behaviour, and this is never the best outcome. If a daily
routine of training is not exercised with your dog, it can make
simple things such as walking your dog, or opening your front
door a challenge for you, and your dog.

It is very important to develop a routine of exercise and
training, ideally at the same time each day and have
consistency with command words, and the participation of
everyone who has daily interaction with the dog, working the
same routines. Once you have this routine in place you will see
a huge difference in how your dog behaves and shows you

Mistake #5

Letting your dog be the boss.

Many times dog owners give in to their dog’s pushy attitude, such
as rooting your hand or arm for affection, barking at you when they
want to play or eat.

Allowing your dog to demand your attention by barking,
jumping, nudging, rooting or other unwanted behaviours is a
very common mistake, usually caused by the dog’s owner not
realizing they are giving their dog leadership.

The answer to this problem is no longer giving in to your dog’s
demands, instead, have the dog do something for you. If your
dog roots your arm for attention, simply make them sit down
before you give them any affection, or if your dog is barking
because they want food, toys, or other rewards, simply make
them sit down and wait for them to be silent before you reward

As long as this routine is consistent you will see great results in
your dog’s behavior.

There are many more common mistakes that we all have made,
and we will be covering those in a later guide, in the meantime
review this first five mistakes and work hard to provide strong
and fair leadership for your dog, when you put in the time the
reward is more than worth the effort. You will develop a trusting
relationship with your dog.

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River Valley Dog Training

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all the best


confused woman










It’s no wonder that people are totally confused about how to train
their dogs, they need only do an internet search using the key words
dog training..there are literally thousands of so-called experts
giving advice to everyday dog owners about the right way or wrong
way to train their dogs.

Trouble is most of these people have little or no experience with
actual real dogs to back up what they may have learned in a book,
or in a 3 minute video on You Tube, yet there they are steering people down the wrong path.

Then, if that’s not enough to spin your head around..

Head on down to the local post office or barber shop, and there you
will find plenty of people to give you advice about the way they
train their dogs..and as well-meaning as these people are, and
convinced, as well that they are right, sadly, most of these people
are wrong too.

I understand that sometimes our dogs behavior can be frustrating
and can very easily make you angry, even make you cry..and I can
understand the desperation that comes with having an out of control
dog,that you love, but have absolutely come to the end of your

I urge you to take a step back, don’t just take the first piece of
advice that anyone gives you and apply it to your dog, take the
time to search out a reputable trainer, or behaviorist, who has had
many years of experience dealing with dogs and their behavior and
has a proven track record of success..this might take a few days,
but no doubt the behavior that is causing you stress has been going
on for some time, so what’s a few more days to be sure to get it

One more piece of advice, I always ask my clients when they tell me
that they tried some training advice and it didn’t work, from whom
did they get their advice. It surprised me how many responded that
they got the advice from their vet.

I always respond with the same thing..I ask them, You wouldn’t ask
a dog trainer to spay or neuter your dog would you..and they always
say that I reply well it probably is not a good idea to ask
your vet how to teach your dog to not be aggressive to other dogs..

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All the best,