Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Your dog calls, "Shotgun!"

Whether a quick trip to the park, a weekend vacation, or a complete relocation...

There are a few tips that can make traveling in the car more enjoyable. Keep in mind, the attitude of the dog that you put into the car....is usually setting the mood for your traveling companion!  If you think it is cute that your dog goes ballistic when you prompt him in an excited voice, "Do you wanna go for a ride? Do ya? Do ya?"  Well.....then you will probably need to appreciate his "excitement" at each stop light, each dog in passing, and each person approaching your car.

Please remember....It is YOU that creates the dog you have!

By breeding excitement, your results will be reactions of excitement for all sorts of conditions. It may sound boring to direct you to calmly walk your dog to the car, only let him jump in the car on direction, and to sit politely while on the ride, but this set of instruction breathes good manners!

Good manners are not boring. It is called, "BALANCE".

Friday, March 6, 2015

Why Behave?

Sometimes we all want to be a rebel, go completely wild, and throw a tantrum! I'm talking exteme... drive fast, demolition bump into cars we don't like, throw dishes (I have always wanted to do this one!), and tear up something real bad, like a pillow fight gone wild!  If you have "never" had that desire...then, um, ya...neither have I..)

Face it...we all feel like we are gonna crack sometimes, and sometimes we have a little leak, but usually we trek through and most of us don't rob, rattle, and terrorize. What determines that boundary line that refrains us from reacting? For me, there are a lot of reasons that I police myself.

#1. The actual police. (I used to be one, and I really never want to be on the other side of the cell using toilet paper as my pillow)
#2. The regret I would have after the fit. (It's really not my core person)
#3. The expense of replacing and fixing the wreckage. (Have you priced dishes???)
#4. The clean up. (a split 2 minute fit is not worth wasting an hour of clean up)

 There are so many stress triggers in life; traffic, work, weight, health, pressure from family peers or parents, barking dogs....the list is enormous and is individual to you. My personal triggers are traffic, crying, barking, sirens....so, needless to say you don't want to be in the car with me on the 91 freeway with my passengers crying and barking as the siren is pulling me over!  Wham! Caution, breaking point in my radar!

Dogs have triggers too!

A list of dog triggers can also be individual to the dog. Many common triggers are, other dogs, balls, food, bones, motorcycles, kids, skateboards, trash trucks, knocking, door bells, etc...For many dogs, just one of these triggers can set them into a barking, growling, jumping, fitful tantrum. Add a few more stress triggers and simply multiple out the result exponentially.

Forcing me into a traffic jam with a pack of preschoolers, and raging dogs is not a good way to teach me to "get over my triggers".It is also not the best way to rehabilitate a dog to get over his issues either. Bribing us with Twinkies only puts a band aid over the moment. Our bodies can only withstand so many Twinkies before we get full or have a sugar spike, which can cause a whole new reaction.

I train and rehabilitate, the dogs, and ME, in a prevention method, rather than a reaction application.  In other words...don't treat the sunburn. Limit access to the sun to build up a tolerance, and use sunscreen for proper prevention.

There are prevention measures I have in place to keep myself in check. Let's call it "Cindy's Risk Management,", and it is a  regimen I enforce to keep myself in the green.

#1. Sleep (Have you ever had sleep deprivation...not pretty)
#2. Cellular Health (I feed my cells the stuff they need so the benefits flow out of me. This is Vitamins/ supplements, the stuff that is actually nurturing my body)
#3. Healthly Eating (Because I still need and like the taste of food. This is my fuel )
#4. Exercise (when an athlete has a bad attitude, the coach says, "take a lap".  Proper exercise it not only good for the body, but great for our mind!)

These risk management points can also be used for dogs. A properly exercised, nutritionally healthy, and restful dog is a vision of beauty and balance, and isn't that what we are all striving for anyways?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

I sat down to write, then I realized I had nothing to say today.

As humans, we have the gift of gab....and sometimes it can be confusing or even annoying. We all seek silence at some point. There is a restaurant in Corona Del Mar with a headless woman outside.. named, "the quiet woman". It always gets a laugh, because we know, that maybe, sometimes....women talk too much :)

I am gonna talk, but I also know when to stop talking, and especially with a dog. People ask how can they train a deaf dog. I always reply, "That's easy!  A deaf dog can't hear you screw up when you talk too much!"

When I train a dog, the beginning is done all is silence. Yep. The dog doesn't understand my words yet so why keep repeating dead words until we can find a common communication to begin translating anything.  I begin each relationship with a dog by me speaking dog language to the dog first. Dog language consists of specific body movements that they instinctively understand. Then training becomes easy, because I am now on their playground and they understand me.

After I can get the dogs' respect, then I can begin teaching the dog my human language, and any task I want them to learn.

   Don't over think, 
and especially learn the 
gift of silence 
while training your dog.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Potty Training Gone Wild!

                                                                                                                                                                   Anytime a behavior changes in a dog, we don't panic, but we do not ignore it hoping it will disappear. We
address it immediately in a program I call "Back to Basics.

    Example:  A dog that has been fully potty trained is all of the sudden having accidents.. Yikes.

    First, we analyze if the dog is possibly sick (diarrhea...probably not his fault) But if there have been a few occasions of pottying (#1 or #2) then we want to nip this in the rear...literally.

    As humans we like to know the answers, the reasons, the WHY did this happen. Get over it, and just get the behavior to stop. Immediately initiate "Potty Training 101". (See blog post)  This means go back to early potty training lessons (flash back to messy puppy stage) Potty training is a 24/7 job, but even the toughest potty protesters can be rehabilitated in a two week period.

    To set your investigative mind at ease....it could have been a neighbor getting a new dog that set your dog in a whizzing twirl, or an annoying new gardener, or... it could be you are stressed out about something and in turn your dog gets stressed out. A dog has just a few thoughts or coping skills, sniff it, eat it, or wizz on it. In other words....if your dog is suddenly eating your couch....enroll your dog back into Remedial Respect Rules 101. (no current blog, but give me a call)

    Whatever the reason, re-inforce the rules calmly with clear boundaries and things should start landing in the designated areas quickly.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Look in the Mirror

My dog is my barometer...my mirror...my "keep in check" counselor.

When my dogs are going crazy, I don't blame the dog...I say "hey, I have to chill out!"  Dogs will mirror your emotions. You can calm them down, and amp them up.

Moving can create a lot of stress, for everyone! Depending on how you handle stress, your dog will pick up on that stress vibe too.

Tips for a successful K9 moving experience;

Keep your dog's meal time somewhat close to regular, and step up the mileage on the walks. A little more exercise will help you both.

Since dogs are resilient, once we balance ourselves,  they will balance out with us.

The Raw Dog

The "Raw Dog" is a term I use when testing to find out how a dogs' true temperament is when things don't go their way. In other words, if they don't get to call the shots about everything in their world, how would they react? You may seem to have a very pleasant and happy dog that exists in your home.....until you take the bone away, limit his access to the couch, kennel him, don't let him greet your guests, sit on your lap, etc. If your dog will not accept these limitations, it means your dog is the boss, head honcho, king
of the house, and ruler of YOU.

Some dogs will accept exchanging the alpha role with you, while others will protest the change in authority with a grumpy growl or even a dominating nip!  This is a sign that you know you have a spoiled or dominant dog. We laugh about spoiling our dogs, until it creates chaos and especially injury. Imagine spoiling a teenager for 16 years and then on a Saturday night, impose a curfew, a diet plan, restriction to cell phone and car usage. Uh oh....trouble starts to erupt!  The easy going teenager now shows a new undesirable side, and so does a dog in this situation...hence the label....the "Raw Dog".

Do you really know your dog?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Old Dogs Rule

The old dogs are wise. They have stopped barking and are happy exactly where they are in life. My 49th birthday is coming up and I have found my own bark is beginning to quiet. I am learning to choose my battles and to enjoy the process, of everything.  I look forward to this second half of my life. Yes, I plan on living to at least 100. Why not? There is so much to do in this life, in this world.

The dogs keep me young. Even the old ones beckon me to get out and walk with them. We smell the flowers (well, they pee on them...) but we breathe and move and explore.

Reports say that having a dog is good for your health and can even lower your blood pressure. That is better than any medication or trip to the gym!

If your dog is causing frustration or stress in your life, maybe it is time to take a closer look at balancing out the dog, and yourself, to help both of you move forward to better health and a better life together.

 A dog ages 7 years to our 1 year. If I knew I was to age 7 years in the next 365 days...I think I might be more serious about playing fetch too!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Coffee Rocks!

   I have a daily coffee that is my rock....literally! It is a rock with the inscription, "One Day At A Time" that sits on top of my coffee pot that I pick up in my hands every morning to fill my coffee machine. My rock reminds me every day of why I am here, that I am STILL here, and that TODAY is the most important day of my life!

   Everyone's life has ups and downs, that's just "life". But  when we focus on today as our life's goal, we catch a lot of things before they go sour, and soak up the good stuff more intensely. Living one day at a time is how we make it through the bad days, and how we look forward to the next day. Worrying about tomorrow will not let you enjoy today.

   I always say dogs live in a 4 second world. If you have a bad 4 seconds with your dog, start over with a new attitude and the next 4 seconds could be better. Then repeat, over and over. Nothing seems too bad this way, and you can feel very successful quickly.

   My husband and I are married for today. By being married one day at a time, we have learned our good behavior should not be taken for granted, and to control our bad behavior before it causes an explosion.  Because for today....this is all the time we have together, and I want to cherish every moment with this man.

 Trust me...there are days where we call "quiet time" in order to make it through the day! We firmly respect this boundary and our result is we watch a good TV show together with no interruptions. or take some personal time for ourselves that makes us miss each other, creating a whole new feeling.

   Evaluating your dog's behavior one day at a time will also prevent major problems from occurring, and improve behavior each day. I love when someone calls me to explain their dog's behavior that changed today! I can solve that over the phone! One day at a time is a perfect way to keep on track whether it be our relationships, our budget, our diet, or our dogs.

   Do I plan for the future? Absolutely.  I budget, make goals, and dream of my future adventures. But my main focus is enjoying this moment; every breath, every loved one, every flower, and every dog.....One Day At A Time!

Today, God has blessed me again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Your Dog is Your #1 Fan!

  A dog never judges, always forgives, and is attentive to our emotions; always willing to pop both ears up for exactly the conversation we are needing.  Your dog is a safe place to lean on that you know won't let you down. This cheerleader that follows you around all day chanting, "Yeah Cindy! Go Cindy! Your'e the best Cindy!" is what makes a dog your number one fan!

   Many people tell me their dog is their best friend, and explain how much they love their dog, sometimes so much that their unconditional love accepts naughty dog behavior that can jolt the entire household. They justify the naughtiness as "puppy behavior" or  being a "rescue".

   In Joel Olsteins book, "I Declare" he speaks how everyone of us should be someone else's number one fan. "We should be encouraging them, lifting them when they've fallen, celebrating when they succeed, praying when they're struggling, urging them forward." Joel calls this being a people builder, and I immediately related this to dogs (like I do with everything).

   In all my years of training I have been witness to the strength of a dog and their people building skills. There are many decorative signs that read, "be the person your dog thinks you are", and we should look deeper into meaning...

Perhaps we have different rules, boundaries, and expectations of who WE BECOME when we are with our dogs as opposed to who we become around humans. Fear of judgement can create a different attitude in you, and lack of boundaries can create an intrusive behavior in who you spend time with.

   Don't be too quick to cross off your human friends, but rather look closer at the relationship you are creating with your dog. Your number one fan wants to be a well disciplined cheerleader. In a human relationship, we easily apply boundaries in order to not be taken advantage of, avoid being hurt, or simply to establish our own self respect.

 If a person knocked at your door you would open it. But if they (without permission to enter) pushed the door open, wiped their dirty feet on your pants, and thrashed your home on it's journey to grab your breakfast off your table to settle down on your couch..........well, I am pretty certain you would throw them out of your house and not accept that behavior!  Creating boundaries with your dog is simple and will change your cheerleader into a people builder within your home.

To create a balanced dog in your home, just remember..... the best cheerleaders never cross the sidelines, never tackle, and never intercept the ball.