So You’re Thinking About Getting a Dog

SarahDogs and Family, Enrichment, Puppies, Senior DogsLeave a Comment

It’s summer. The kids are out of school, the weather is nice, there’s a certain welcome laziness in the air. All of a sudden, you stop mid-porch swing and think to yourself… “This is nice. We should get a dog.” And just like you should finish the other half of that swing, you should finish the other half of that thought before someone gets hurt! In all seriousness, getting a new dog is a wonderful idea (rescuing a new dog is an even better idea), but only for some people and in certain situations. There are many things to consider before getting a dog, whether from a breeder, a shelter or a rescue group. Here are a few things to think about before you hop on the Internet or over to the closest shelter to find your next dog: Consider why you want a new dog – Is it for the … Read More

Old Dog, New Tricks?

SarahAnxiety Issues, Dog Training, EnrichmentLeave a Comment

Who ever said that an old dog can’t learn new tricks? It turns out that an English author by the name of Ebenezer Cobham Brewer was the first to reference the saying “Old dogs will not learn new tricks” in his 1894 publication Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, a compilation of popular idioms and proverbs of the time. Leave it to someone named Ebenezer to dwell on the negative, yes? Well, it turns out that this old folklore was referring to human behavior and had nothing to do with the canine species at all. And as you might guess, of course, both humans and dogs alike can definitely learn new behaviors. It’s certainly true that a puppy between 8 weeks and 16 weeks, in what is known as the socialization period, can soak up new behavioral information (both good and bad) like a sponge. Unless there are physical or … Read More

Giving Up on Perfect

SarahAnxiety Issues, Dog Training, Employee Bio3 Comments

There was a time early on in my dog training career when I wanted to be perfect. And I wanted a perfect dog, too. At the time, I was volunteering at a service dog organization, and was obsessed in my interactions with service dogs who were bred and born to be working dogs. They started training at 8 weeks old, were trained every single day, attended class once a week for 18 months with their puppy raisers and then had another 6 months of dedicated training by advanced trainers. Whew! That’s a lot of training… And these amazing dogs, seemingly, were perfect. They never barked in public, they never bothered anyone, and no noise, distraction, crowded mall or cramped space seemed to phase them ever. (Of course, as you might wonder, they did have the opportunity just to run and play and “be dogs” when they weren’t working, too.) But … Read More

Is It Time to Make a Doggy Resolution?

SarahDog Training, Dogs and Family, SeasonalLeave a Comment

Well, well, well, here we are… at the end of another year. Was it a year filled with music, flowers, friends and family? If your answer was a resounding yes, fantastic. If your answer was yes – but the music was on to drown out the endless barking, the flowers were continually knocked over by an expert counter-surfer, and your friends and family have been jumped on so many times this year that now they refuse to come over next year – then not so fantastic, right? Celebrating a new year marks the symbolic end of a great journey in our lives. Sure, it was only one calendar year. But the best part about celebrating a new year is the renewed hope that, even though things may not have been great in the past year, there is a chance that things can start anew… fresh… unspoiled. It’s time to put … Read More

Ten Things To Consider Before Getting a New Dog

SarahDogs and Family, PuppiesLeave a Comment

What’s better than surprising your family with the warm, silky-soft fuzz of a brand new puppy, or even the irresistible friendly wet snoot of a new adult dog? Nothing… nothing is more exciting than getting a new dog! With the holidays approaching, it’s not uncommon for pet-lovers to bring home a new puppy as a gift for their loved ones. Before you do, however, please read this article about some of the considerations of holiday pet-giving. If you are still interested in getting a puppy or dog for the holidays, read on… Getting your first dog, or a new dog, is an extremely emotional journey. Owning a dog for the long haul (10+ years) can be even more emotional – and sometimes not the good kind of emotions – if not handled properly, or if you’re not prepared for dog ownership. It’s worth mentioning, first and foremost, that everyone in … Read More