Category Archives: New Dog? New Owner?

What to do When Your Dog is being a Pain in the Ass and You Feel like Crap

Sometimes, I don’t like my dogs very much. They have issues. Jonas was a fearful, under-socialized mess when I met him, and some residual effects of that remain to this day. Merlin is a recovering fear-aggressive border collie. You don’t always notice the “recovering” part. Don’t get me wrong, I love these guys. I reallyContinue Reading

100 Mildly Useful Thoughts on Training & Living with Dogs

1. Leadership is about being someone worth following. 2. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. 3. Dogs have deadly weapons in their mouths. Most will go their entire lives without using them. Don’t take this for granted. 4. You have a lot of power over your dog. With great power… 5.Continue Reading

Thinking of Returning Your New Puppy to the Shelter/Breeder? Please Read This First

Dear puppy owner, So you’ve adopted a puppy who has turned out to be a little terror, and you’re thinking of finding her a new home. Despite your best efforts, some problem has come up: the puppy won’t stop biting, won’t stop pooping all over your house, or maybe she just requires a lot moreContinue Reading

How to Not Screw Up Your New Puppy

People never adopt puppies with the intention of turning them into screwed-up dogs. But it happens all the time. Imagine this scenario: A family visits an animal shelter and takes home an eight week old puppy. They’ve got this perfect little baby dog, a totally innocent little creature. No bad habits yet. This little pupContinue Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Adopted Dog Ownership

It’s October! You know what that means. The holiday season is approaching. The weather’s getting colder or warmer, depending on your hemisphere. Basketball season is starting. It’s National Pork Month. rela But all of that pales in comparison to the REAL significance of October: Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! If you want to join inContinue Reading

43 Tips for New Puppy Owners

It’s around day two of life with a new puppy that most people start to ask themselves, “what the hell have I gotten myself into?” When you bring a puppy home, you are suddenly faced with obnoxious puppy behavior like whining, biting, jumping, chewing, and pooping on the carpet. And if you’ve done any researchContinue Reading

Video post: My Dog Won’t Work for Food!

You’ve probably noticed that positive dog training uses a lot of food. Treat training is the easiest and most reliable way to teach a dog something new. And no wonder. I mean, dogs? Food? They kinda go together. Ninety percent of the dogs you work with will work quite happily for treats, but once inContinue Reading

Play With Your (Dog) Food: The Easy Way to Prevent Food Aggression

If you’ve got a new dog, you’ve got a lot to think about. Your hands are full with training and socialization and vet visits and all that. I’m going to add one more “to do” to your list. Please don’t hate me. The thing is, this is an extremely important to-do. Especially if you haveContinue Reading

10 Things We Wish Everyone Knew Before They Get a Dog

“So,” I ask the customer walking the kennel rows. “What are you looking for in a dog?” I’m a volunteer adoption counselor at the pound, see. It’s my job to make sure people are matched with the right dog. It’s fascinating. Lots of adopters I meet have no idea what a dog is! Often whenContinue Reading

Is My Puppy CRAZY? A Short Guide to Puppy Behavior

Ah, puppies. Everyone loves puppies, right? But many people are confused by their puppy’s behavior. People often experience a sort of “culture shock” when they introduce a new baby dog to their household. Has your new ball of fluff got you wondering if all her crazy antics are normal? Here’s a quick guide to what’sContinue Reading