Category Archives: Basic Training

How to Live with a High Energy Dog Without Losing Your Mind

It’s almost dawn. I am rudely awoken when something slobbery and Frisbee-shaped is dropped on my head. I open one eye to find Merlin’s face inches from mine, his adorable fuzzy features set in a stern expression. “Hey jerkwad,” he says, “wake up. It’s an emergency!” “What kind of emergency?” “I’m bored.” “That’s not anContinue 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

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

Do You Recognize These 6 Signs of a Stressed-Out Dog?

The agility student was getting fed up with her Jack Russell Terrier. When it was their turn to perform a training exercise in class, the dog would start sniffing the ground like crazy and ignore everything his owner said. “He’s so stubborn!” said the student. “I don’t know what to do to get him toContinue 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

Dog Crates: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It is my humble opinion that the dog crate is one of the most awesome inventions to hit the world of Dog Stuff since the tennis ball. They’re a great tool for keeping mischievous canines out of trouble, and for traveling. Crates make the dreaded house training process so much faster and easier, since dogsContinue Reading

WAIT! (how to train it, that is)

Here’s a quick tutorial for teaching your dog to wait. Not to be confused with the stay command, Wait is a useful command to have in addition to Stay. “Stay” means “stay in that position until I release you.” Wait means “don’t move forward.” Tomorrow I’ll post a how-to that follows up on this, forContinue Reading

On Getting Your Dog To Come When You Call Him

Hi there! This is an old post. There’s an updated, better version now. Click here to check it out. As far as basic obedience goes, “come” is a pretty easy command to teach. You excitedly call your dog toward you, maybe tugging the leash or offering a treat. When he comes, you praise him. EventuallyContinue Reading

Using Rewards in Dog Training

Food! When you saw the title, that was the first thing you thought of, right? You may envision colorful little Milkbones, liver treats or chopped-up hot dogs. If you train with food a lot and are now sick of the smell of hot dogs, you’ll be relieved to know that rewards don’t have to beContinue Reading