Wednesday, December 24, 2014

How to Fill Your Dog's Stocking Safely.

I believe the Christmas holiday was intended to be a simple, humble, and incredibly joyful celebration of Jesus's birth. However, if you view "Christmas" from the local tends to scream an overload of food and gifts, sprinkled with anxiety and frustration.  The hustling urgency and bustling anxiety of a crammed and stressful schedule can bring chaos, rather than cheer, to your holidays, and also to your dog.

Creating a calm dog for the holidays is not impossible. Rather than overloading your dog's stocking with treats and toys, try offering your time sharing a structured and dedicated walk through your neighborhood.  Not only will you bring  calm to your dog, but to you as well. Christmas, especially in the evening, is a great time to walk. The decorations are great socialization!

Don't be surprised if your dog is afraid of certain decorations and even the lights. Realize dogs don't like when things are out of place and an inflatable Santa on the front lawn fits exactly into that category.  Tread forward with your own zen-like assurance and your dog will trust your lead.
If your dog is dramatically scared of the decor, then you can still achieve a calming walk in your own driveway or close to home.

Remember the key to a successful walk is not the physical distance, but the form and the duration. In other words, a crazed walk for two miles to a beautiful park is not better than 20 minutes of walk with structure and calm near home.

Although a structured walk can be boring to us humans, it can be enlightening, calming, and beneficial to both of you if you take a deep breath and enjoy the process of being calm together.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

You Can Lead a Dog to Water

Just because you lead the dog to the water bowl, does not mean he will drink. Taking him 14 times still does not improve the amount of water he will drink. Your dog has 4 legs. When he is thirsty, he will search relentlessly to find the water.

When people dress me up it does not make me happy, it makes me uncomfortable. When I buy a car on impulse, I have buyers remorse. When I choose to change something for myself....I harvest that desire, and stretch until I reach that goal.

At California Dog University, we answer every call, but we never stalk you. We don't cram your inbox, yet we offer tons of information on this blog and webinars. When someone is ready to train, willing to try, and seeking success...we are here 100%.

We consider ourselves your partner in training; a coach that will guide, motivate, and encourage to each team member that shows up on our field.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Dog is My Safe Spot

    Over the years, I have found people reserve their dog in a separate space; reserved for unconditional love.

   Our lives are full of expectations, rules, CC&R's, speed limits, contracts, and responsibilities. A dog has zero rules on us, with no judgment of our failures, our looks, or our financial status. Your dog will never fire you or divorce you, and despite their size, will protect you vigilantly from harm. So, our initial human response is to reward this amazingly loving, forgiving, understanding and tolerant behavior with unconditional love in return; meaning extra treats, no rules, and complete free will of all our space. After all, no one else in our life is so accepting as our dog!

    However, although our dogs don't show signs of judgement (in our human psychological terms) they do mirror our lacking postures by displaying imbalance in their behavior. Whining, chewing, barking, growling, pulling on a leash, jumping, licking....not all necessarily normal dog behavior as much as reactions to unbalanced human behavior lacking boundaries and guidelines for your dog.

    You do not need to become the most patient and tolerant person in the world to get dogs to react calmly. In my webinars, I share 5 simple tips that can immediately improve your dogs behavior, and the benefits reflect on you as well.

    In training dogs, I see success in the clients that truly want to have their dogs behave better, or differently, and are ready to realize they may need to reorganize some of their own techniques to reap the benefits of a calm dog.

 Sometimes I have even met the client that enjoys the anxiety or over excitability in their dog because they relate it to affection and love for themselves. Although I explain a calm dog still shares the same amount of love and that anxiety and excitement mixed together will usually lead to the behavior that they do not like...(jumping, growling, barking, etc.) they still opt for nurturing this antic because they can't bare to lose that overly expressed affection from the dog.

It always feel good to have a dog love you. Love always feels good. However, when the love is right, or stable, or flows easily, and calmly... even for a dog.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Dog Ate my Homework.

If a salesperson came to your door, pushed past you and started thrashing your home, you would be appalled, kick him out, and cry explanations of rudeness. As a human being you have learned what is socially acceptable, safe, and expected.

So has your dog.  If the above explanation is too familiar of your dogs front door etiquette, congratulate yourself at being an accomplished dog trainer, because each behavior is learned.

I share 5 Golden Rules in my webinar training.

Rule #1 Every time you talk, touch, or even look at your dog, you are reinforcing not only what your dog is doing in that moment, but also what he is thinking. one seems to think our behavior effects the dogs behavior, but a dog will mirror your energy. Try this....jump up and down whining. Now sit calmly and yawn.

To improve your dogs behavior, you must first take care of yourself. If you feel you are perfect, then I will believe that the dog ate your homework too.:)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful for Barkiing

We all have our breaking points. We all have triggers that make us tense.  So, how do we extend our snapping point so that we don't crack?

Deep breathing, patience, gratitude.

Barking drives me crazy. Ironic, since I am a dog trainer and you would think I would become immune to the bark. Nope.

When I was a cop, I could not stand the siren.

Loud noises make me tense. So how do I survive in a world of loud?

I take note of the loud noises, and realize that I am alive. I use gratitude to say, "Thank you God for allowing me to be among the chaos, to be able to experience today.

Today is Thanksgiving. In my background noise, I hear a shrill whine of my dog in training, a neighbor dog barking like it does everyday, and I am so thankful for the dog I am able to train, and for the neighborhood I live in.

Today, I hope to hold my crying grandson, because that noise is the most beautiful noise that I could be surrounded by.

Enjoy your day, live with patience, and harvest the gratitude we are able to have.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Train Dogs with a Chocolate Treat!

I saw a neighbor put their Christmas lights up yesterday and the panic of shopping, cleaning, decorating, eating, and entertaining entered my mind in a scrambled mess. Next, flashing forward to New Year’s Eve, I reminisced of last year’s resolution; to become healthier and to lose 20 pounds (not to look better for any tiny dress but to live better in 20 years).

My holiday hustling mind was instantly eased into celebration.  I had not only made my resolution, I had conquered it! January 1, 2014 was not a crash diet/work-out regime….I did not get myself in motion until July, and even then I was slow to act. Procrastination and lack of motivation were my only excuse.

I was perfectly capable of eating right. I had done it many times. I just chose not to. Never really having a gigantic weight problem, I figured I would “catch up later”. My Mom (at 72, who is always skinny, can walk faster than us all, and treats a carbohydrate like the plaque) would always subtly hint, “they say obese people got that way by gaining only 7 pounds a year…..” I would joke about the M&M’s, brownies, and cookie dough… a true chocoholic to the core of my soul!

When my Yoga twisted sister offered me my first ‘diet’ chocolate shake in March, I shrugged her off as health crazed and ate Toll House cookie dough instead. By July, I noticed my sister was not only very flexible but also looking fantastic! Since we look somewhat like twins…this was not a competition I wanted to lose. I drank the chocolate shake, and ate the ‘diet’ cookies too. Then, I drank more, and secretly started eating more cookies. They were a chocolate dream to me!

By the end of the month, my pants starting loosening up and my sister proudly pointed out our success. I reluctantly and big sisterly admitted that she was on to a good thing. Those chocolate shakes and cookies had whittled me into my proper weight zone and balanced my blood sugar in the process. I had a zip in my step, and strength from my success as I continued to indulge myself in my chocolate laced world. No longer did I crave a cheap imitation sugar fix, but started making healthy choices and even started doing push ups again to balance and tone the body I had newly created.

As a dog trainer by profession, I visit many homes and see the inner workings of private lives.  I have always noticed the effect of imbalance in people’s lives and how it affects their dog. I have been blessed enough over the years to be able to know who I can successfully help and who is going to have trouble. Unfortunately, success has very little to do with the dog and everything to do with balance of the human.

Not a psychologist by trade, and with no desire to be one, I ended up having to guide people in finding patience, breathing more, finding humor in chaos, and seeking strength in working out with their dog. All this reasoning was with one intention…to balance the dog.

However, as we strive to balance the dog, we began to balance the home. I started noticing arguing spouses beginning to show endearing behavior, and parents beginning to give boundaries to unruly children.

I began to realize that balancing the dog required a lot more than just teaching obedience and manners to my K-9 client. Dog training became a complete life system that stretched way beyond the dog. I have seen a dog rip a household apart, and stitch a family together, all due to lack of balance. We are able to rehabilitate the dog with their family by re-building the infrastructure. The chocolate shake helped re-build MY infrastructure; a balance of my mind and body.

Hiring a dog trainer is often a hint of seeking balance, or order, or peace. A dog is a mirror and will reflect what our system sends out. When I meet a dog and their person, a whole story unfolds in front of me, and yes, it is true that a dog’s tail does not lie.

So, how the heck did a chocolate shake change my way to train dogs? The chocolate shake  "RESET" program helped balance my sugar, my energy, my core, and built my strength. Through feeling better, my attitude was improved, my patience was enhanced and my daily life was more enjoyable.

As I constantly learn to improve myself, I can now help others improve the relationship with their dogs in new ways as a Usana Independent Consultant. I will always continue to train dogs and I still have a fond memory of my love for M&M’s and Toll House, but my life is more than ‘just’ a box of unhealthy chocolate!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The fastest way to train my dog!

FREE webinar registration
 Training dogs is more than just sit, down, and stay. It's about teaching manners and earning respect in a calm way to have your dog follow you as a confident and balanced leader. In my webinar training, private lessons, or enrolled in our boot camp, you will quickly see an improvement. I will coach you in understanding your dog and help you to create a better relationship together.

   Sharing a home with a dog can be challenging. The key is to build a solid foundation of training based on respect and to reinforce this relationship on a constant and calm basis. My training will help you not only strengthen the relationship with your dog, but the relationship with yourself.

   Dog training extends far beyond training just your dog. It's about you, and your foundation also.

   Start training you and your dog together in a calm and balanced lifestyle. I am here to coach you both, every step of the way. 

   Dogs change, and so do we... keep up with your dog.

 I hope to meet you soon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Why do I keep training but can't get it right?

How does your life effect your dog training?

   If you have trained with me before then you know I say a dog won't listen to yelling or anxiety, and won't listen to weak or wobbly. A dog follows calm and balanced leadership. The best leaders strive forward because of their calm balance that they display or a regular or continued basis. 
   People are attracted to strength and leadership, but dogs won't follow anything else.
    If you are having trouble getting your dog to come when called, to stay when told, or to greet you calmly....then dare to venture that you may not be performing in your best leadership role! Perhaps you are lacking balance. Even the most balanced folk will crack in certain situations. The key is to get back up, and regain your pose.
   In order to succeed in our lives, we must breathe, eat, drink, play, pray, and plan....or something of that order but if and when it is all out of whack, off kilter, or in dismay....we notice upset, imbalance, anxiety, weight or health issues, and mood swings.
   Not only are these events or actions not beneficial to us physically, mentally, or professionally...they are detrimental in the relationship with your dog. 


Friday, May 9, 2014

A bad picture is actually a beautiful sight!

This is a black lab mix that was rescued by California Labrador Retrievers and More in San Diego, and then enrolled in California Dog University in Temecula to be trained as a service dog.  His name has been changed along the way from unknown, to Morris, to Buster, to Prometheus as he traveled his educational journey winning the hearts of many people along the way.
This dog holds a special place in every heart he touches. Something in his eyes speaks to your soul, and something in his hugs heals your wounds.
We are proud to have this amazing dog curled up at his trainer, Nick Chaisson's feet in this picture, as they prepare for their flight to take off from San Diego. This lucky dog has earned his way to the greatest honor of being a certified Service Dog for a soldier that was drastically injured in Afghanistan, ultimately sacrificing the loss of one leg and multiple other injuries.
Brian, our Hero, and Prometheus (his new service dog) will now spend their days together, sharing stories and creating new memories.
It has been an honor to meet you both.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

When Should Training begin for my puppy?

Dog Training Begins When You Meet Your New Puppy.

We often are told that people waited 6 months before they began looking to begin training their puppy because they were given advice to let their puppy enjoy life as a puppy, like a free spirit.

Um....I suggest you redirect that same analogy on human children and everyone would know exactly what you would get....a very disrespectful toddler, with established bad habits.
By beginning training early, you are not being mean. You are providing needed guidance to understand the rules in your home. Early dog training enables you to create a calm and balanced dog. The younger the puppy, the easier they are to train in the good habits, and to prevent the bad dog behavior from even occurring.

Training your puppy while young will take moments, rather than weeks. We can teach a puppy new things quickly and mold them into respectable house mates. Training is always on-going as your puppy grows, but the important stuff holds stronger and longer when you initiate early training with your dog.

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