Make life easy for you and your dog!

How can you rear your new puppy without losing your cool? Use the force-free tools available to help your dog cope with the world without ever going wrong! | FULL ONLINE COURSE FOR YOUR NEW PUPPY!  | #newpuppy, #housetraining, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

“Why are you carrying that lump of a child the whole time?” the woman asked of my friend Jessica. “He must be two if he’s a day. Where’s his pushchair?”

Jessica blushed and struggled on, hoisting her well-built two-year-old son onto her hip. She didn’t want to have to answer this sensible question. She was exhausted carrying the wriggly heavy child for hours, but she was under the thumb of her partner, who had decreed that no child of his would be put in a pushchair, and that his mother had to carry him whenever he could not walk. Apart from wearing out his mother who had no free hands for anything else, this prevented the child from interacting with his world without parental pressure. It blocked the path of discovery, self-awareness, confidence. 

This madness extended to the home, where the boy was not allowed to sleep in a cot. 

The result? Midnight mayhem. Whenever he awoke, Basil would - naturally enough - slide out of bed and start wandering. Naps were impossible if Basil decided he wasn’t sleepy enough. Result: unrested and overtired child - and all parents freeze with apprehension at the thought of that!

It’s hard enough bringing up a toddler, without both hands being tied behind your back.

Most parents would consider these attitudes lunacy - the result of Jessica’s spouse’s bullying. 

So why do people do the exact same thing with their dog?!

You can rear your new puppy without EVER saying “NO”! Use the force-free tools available to help your dog cope with the world without ever going wrong! | FULL ONLINE COURSE FOR YOUR NEW PUPPY!  | #newpuppy, #housetraining, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

I’m always surprised when I come across resistance to using a crate for a dog. 

Using a crate for a dog is just the same as using a cot for a child.

There’s no question of punishment. The crate is his bed, his own space; it has plenty of toys and chews in it; all meals are fed in it; stuffed food toys are given in it. It’s a haven where he’s safe from other dogs, cats, children, the world. All he has to do in it is r-e-l-a-x. 

Here you see Coco Poodle relaxing in his much-loved crate. It even has a handle for him to pull to open it when he wants to go in for a break. 

You should always know exactly where your dog is. If you ask him to go in his crate when you go out, you’ll know that when you come back you’ll be greeted by a smiling, stretching, cool, rested puppy, with no chewed cables or furniture, no upturned bin, and no pee on the floor. Your pleasure at seeing each other will be genuine and untrammelled by recrimination, bad temper, and frustration. 

Leaving him loose to entertain himself in the house instead of getting his valuable shut-eye, will make you bad-tempered and cross, and your puppy will have NO idea what he’s done wrong - just that you don’t like him and you may be dangerous. This is not the way to create an unbreakable bond with your dog!

So why would you resist this simple solution to so many aggravations?

Don’t labour on like Jessica did, making housetraining, chewing, and life in general much, much harder. Use the tools that are available to you, just as most parents do with their small children. 

More info on how to crate-train happily here

 

And have a look at this complete system for your new puppy!

 

Where are my spoons? Why your dog runs out of calmness

How does heat affect your dog? We all know not to leave a dog in a car - but have you thought how the heat can affect his psyche? Read this post for some eye-openers! | FREE VIDEO WORKSHOP | #anxiousdog #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior, #heatindogs, #cooldog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

It’s a puzzle to so many people. Their dog is easygoing and tranquil, and out of nowhere he snarks at another dog - or snaps at a child - or even growls at you! 

Maybe your dog is not so easygoing and you have just learned to live with these “random” outbursts. You never know when he’s going to be in a good humour, and when he’s going to have a meltdown.

But you CAN know! 

If you’re aware of what’s using up your dog’s patience stores, you’ll be able to manage him so that he doesn’t run out entirely, and be left with no way to go except have an outburst.

What you need to learn about is known as Trigger Stacking. And at the moment we have a huge extra trigger that many people simply aren’t aware of.

Heatwave!

In the UK at the moment we are enjoying (or suffering!) extreme weather. Weeks of temperatures in the high 70s and 80s (that's the high 20s in new money) - we’re not used to it at all!

So spare a thought for your dog, who has to wear his full fur coat regardless of the weather. 

You doubtless know all the commonsense advice for dogs and hot weather: 

• Ensure plenty of fresh water is available

• Brush out the winter coat as far as possible, and trim and shear hairy beasties

• Cut back on walks - maybe none at all for a few days, and certainly only at the cool ends of the day

There’s more to keeping your dog cool in the summer than his physical comfort. It can also help with dog anxiety and general dog behavior. Read this post for some eye-openers! | FREE VIDEO WORKSHOP | #anxiousdog #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior, #heatindogs, #cooldog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

• Limit access to the garden UNLESS you have a paddling pool to entertain your dog, or unless he has enough sense to find a shady spot and stay there

• Check temperature of the ground with your hand. Have you seen people doing the hoppy dance on a hot beach when they have no shoes on? 

• Don’t leave your dog in a car, even with the windows open, without taking measures to keep it cool. This will include covering all the windows, ensuring a through draught, running an aircon, and - of course - parking in the shade.

• Consider a cooling mat for a double-coated breed, or a cooling shirt. A wet t-shirt will work well too, but you need to keep wetting it.

• Frozen food-toys may be popular

• Observe speed of panting and shape of tongue - a long spoon-shaped tongue means your dog is working hard to get rid of heat 

 

Heatstroke in dogs can be quick, and deadly. So please take the precautions above to ensure your dog is protected.

Hothead

But you also need to consider how this heat is impacting his mental state.

I’d like you to take a quick detour and bone up on Spoon Theory. This explains so well how limited stores of energy have to be farmed and managed carefully. The same applies for our dogs with their limited store of tolerance. 

Before you even step out of the door on a hot day, your dog is stressed. He’s already used up a boatload of spoons and may be running critically low. This could apply to the calmer dog as well as the “reactive” or growly dog.

You know how quickly you can get annoyed when you're uncomfortable - especially if you're not used to the heat? Think of airport rows and road rage in hot traffic jams.

There’s more to keeping your dog cool in the summer than his physical comfort. It can also help with dog anxiety and general dog behavior. Read this post for some eye-openers! | FREE VIDEO WORKSHOP | #anxiousdog #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior, #heatindogs, #cooldog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Lots of people will be out and about in holiday mode, with dogs who are only walked on high days and holydays, and everyone will be hot and bothered.

So seek out quieter walks, shaded walks - if you can find a place for your dog to swim, so much the better! - and cut out the ball-throwing till the worst of this heat is over. It will be over soon enough, and all us Britishers can go back to talking about the weather in disparaging terms! 

And if you live in a permanently hot place, you’ll have worked out your own ways of keeping your home cool, and strategies to get about outside without boiling. A reader from Texas told me that she can only take her dog out for 20’ at 5 am - after that it’s into the hundreds and impossible. 

 

Triggers, and spoons

Armed with this knowledge, you can now look at your dog in a different way. Hopefully a more understanding and tolerant way. He’s not being difficult - he’s struggling in circumstances he finds hard at the best of times, and may now be finding impossible.

In the greater scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter if your dog doesn’t go for a walk for several days - or even weeks. And contrary to what you may be thinking, you may be surprised to find that your normally hyper dog in fact gets calmer and more manageable, the less he’s walked!

Help him by managing his day carefully when outside influences are making it harder for him. He’s relying on you! 

 

 

 

Want to know more about keeping walks calm and pleasant? Whether your dog is “growly” or just a bit anxious on walks, you’ll find a lot to help you in this Free 5 Day Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How training your dog can help you train people

How can you protect your dog from well-meaning people who want to pet him? Here are some easy dog training techniques to kindly control your dog and train your visitor! FREE VIDEO WORKSHOP | #shydog, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Some people are good at greeting dogs. And some are … not. It’s not a skill we’re born with (think how long it takes to teach children how to greet people politely!), so we have to teach those who approach us how to greet our dog - or, indeed, whether they may greet her at all!

If your dog is like Greta Garbo, who famously said, “I want to be left alone,” then no greeting is required. This is where you’ll have to use your dog training skills to prevent a quick lunge from the visitor, now wailing “But dogs like me!” as they jump back alarmed from a snap.

You may have dogs who lurve people and want to jump all over them. Yapping NO at your dog, flapping your hands and yanking the lead is not going to cut it. You need to teach your ebullient dog how to greet strangers - and for this you need the stranger’s co-operation!

So how can you get the people you meet to comply?

You can use the same mantra we use for our dogs - 

Reward what you like
Ignore what you don’t like
Manage what can’t be ignored

This means that if your visitor does what you ask, they earn the reward of greeting your dog. If they do inappropriate things (in your dog’s eyes) then you ignore their efforts as you focus on directing them to what you do want, and manage the situation so they can’t interfere with your dog.

Let’s have a closer look at this.


The shy, anxious, or fearful dog

Evasion skills for your shy or worried dog

How can you protect your dog from well-meaning people who want to pet him? Here are some easy dog training techniques to kindly control your dog and train your visitor! FREE VIDEO WORKSHOP | #shydog, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com
  • Carwash - teach your dog to run behind you and appear peekaboo-style between your legs. Few strangers will grope between your legs to get at your dog
  • Get behind - lurking behind your legs may work better for very large or very shy dogs
  • Down - can get them out of arm’s reach of invasion
  • Muzzle - If your dog has a tendency to lunge and snap, teach her to be happy in her muzzle. This will relax you as you’re not worried about damage, and does tend to keep people away. They think this dog is dangerous - in fact she’s safer than an unmuzzled dog

 

Where you can help

  • Get between your dog and the kindly visitor intent on grabbing her
  • Use your body to block the path to your dog, and keep moving as necessary to stay in the way
  • Asking the would-be greeter questions and taking control of the meeting, will distract them from their “Hello doggy” plans
  • Maybe just keep walking! With a quick “Morning!” as you pass
  • Or use the tried and tested policeman STOP hand signal. This is immensely effective at stopping people in their tracks, giving you time to arrange your dog where you want her, and allowing you to compose a suitable sentence to keep the person at a comfortable distance. You don't have to make excuses for your dog. Just think of a quick way of getting the person to do what you want. Practice this at home with a friend, so you feel brave enough to do it!
  • Talk to your dog quietly and politely - this may impress your would-be greeter that you don’t have to yell and grab this particular dog

 

The over-exuberant dog

If a meeting is appropriate, give clear instructions on how to greet your dog. You’ll train your dog how to do his part, using friends to help you. This means he’ll know this “game” when you want to use it in the wild.

Bouncy Goldie pup Alfie shows how to greet people

Greeting skills for a bouncy dog

  • Hand touch (your hand to start with)
  • Release cue (“Go say hi”, only when dog is sitting and calm)
  • Timing of reward (when he’s turned back to you)

 

Your clear instructions should be brief and simple. For instance, “just hold your hand down by your side so he can sniff it”. This tends to stop people leaning over your dog and grabbing or patting, ruffling or thumping. It also stops your dog leaping up to nose-dot them as they can inspect their hand instead.

By the time your dog has sniffed the hand to gain all the information he needs about the person, he’s already back with you for his treat. Job done.

Crowd control

Unless you know for a fact that the person wanting to chat to you and your dog will listen to you, follow your instructions, and understand what you’re doing - don’t let them near enough to cause trouble.

All this work you’ve put in to understanding how your dog’s mind works and how to get the best from her? It’s just the same with people! You can take a quick overview of the situation, remember my mantra above, make rapid decisions about whether a greeting should or should not happen, and take control of the meeting.

This way you won’t be caught out by those who think they know more about your dog than you do, and avoid the embarrassment of muddy pawmarks on the person’s clothes … or worse.

Remember if your dog thinks she has to defend herself against this invasive person, she’ll be more alarmed about the next person you pass, and may even consider a pre-emptive strike (leap out and snap) to keep them away.

 


For more ideas about how to have peaceful and uneventful walks, join the FREE 5 Day Video Workshop for your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog

 

How to stop your dog damaging her stitches

Is your dog injured? And nibbling his stitches? You have to protect the wound to promote healing, but there are many ways to do this! | FREE EMAIL COURSE | dog training, dog health | #doghealth, #dogbehavior, #dogscratching | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

At some stage in his or her life, your dog will need stitches. Could be for neutering, a gash or tear, or something more serious.  

Some dogs will lick obsessively at a wound. This causes skin changes, it inhibits healing, and can introduce infection. So it’s essential that the wound is allowed to heal without being licked and nibbled at.

Many years ago one of my dogs came back from the vet wearing a modified wastepaper bin on his head. They’d cut the base out of it, leaving nasty ragged plastic edges. While protecting the wound they had made in surgery, it created sore patches and cuts all around his neck where it chafed. 

Vets now use a ready-made collar which comes packed flat. This is known as an “Elizabethan” or “Buster” collar to attach to your dog’s own collar. These are large lampshade-type constructions which will fit any size dog. 

They annoy mightily, but they don’t do any damage. Except when the dog catches it in a doorway and it digs into his neck. Or gets food all over the edges. Or is unable to get a drink without spilling the water bowl.

For indoor use only

If your dog needs this to protect the wound, then go for it. But if he’s well enough to go for a walk with you, please take it off! It crashes into things, its appearance will cause problems with other dogs, and it distorts your dog’s hearing so that when you call he’ll head off in the direction he’s facing - as that’s where the sound seems to be coming from! 

If your dog is busy running around, sniffing, and being a dog, he won’t be licking his wound.

There are alternatives. I haven’t tried one, but there are cushion-type collars that are supposed to prevent the dog turning his head round to reach the wound. I guess these could be very effective, depending on the position of the wound, and the elasticity of the dog. For dogs who are able to turn and meet themselves coming back, this probably wouldn't work.

A t-shirt that covers the area may be quite enough. Depending on the size of your dog, you can put a child’s or adult’s t-shirt on him. Tie all the excess material in a knot over his rump, so he can still pee without getting in a mess. 

If your dog can’t leave the wound alone, then obviously the bonnet stays firmly on. 

Coco looks like Buzz Lightyear in his bonnet! You have to protect the wound to promote healing, but there are many ways to do this | FREE EMAIL COURSE | dog training, dog health | #doghealth, #dogbehavior, #dogscratching | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Not just licking!

Another time when it’s essential is when the wound is on the face or head. A quick scratch with a powerful hind leg can do untold damage in seconds. Dogs never seem to do the minimum scratching necessary to relieve the irritation - they scratch for what seems a pre-determined period, by which time the stitches may all be ripped out. Keep your hat on!

Here's Coco doing his Buzz Lightyear impression ...

But I’ve found that often nothing at all is needed. If I’m watching over my dog I can interrupt any interest in the wound site. The techniques good vets use these days mean that the incision is often tiny and can have minimal stitches or staples or glue to hold it together. So you don’t get the pulling and tweaking you can get with lots of stitches.

Years ago a surgeon told me that they had reduced healing time in his wards dramatically by making the bandages impossible for the patient to interfere with - thus letting the healing take place unhindered - and by having a lounge between the different-sex wards where patients could mingle. This added interest gave them something else to focus on! 

You can do the same by ensuring your dog can’t get at the wound, and by giving him lots of other things to amuse him, including walks, or play in your garden, if appropriate and advised by your vet. Otherwise you can stick to “brain games” - searching, chewing, unwrapping, etc, or just plain ole companionship.

So try relieving your dog of the burden of the dreadful bonnet! You may find it’s only needed occasionally if at all.

 

Want some ideas on dealing with everyday dog and puppy problems? Get your free email course and get some imaginative answers
 

How Can Your Family Dog Teach Your Children Empathy?

Can your dog teach your children empathy? Oh yes! And so easily. Plenty of ideas and resources in this post | FREE EMAIL COURSE | Dog training, new puppy, puppy training, dogs and children | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

“You have to share.” 

This is a concept we all want our children to learn. Preferably before they become known as the mean kid at playschool. 

Nagging your child whenever he has something - but wants to keep it to himself - is not the way we want to interact with our family. Being told to share can push a reluctant sharer the wrong way and increase his feelings that his possessions are being threatened.

And it can backfire. Witness toddler Connor who wanted a taste of his mother’s glass of wine. When told no, he gathered up all the authority a 2-year-old can muster and said, “You have to share.”

So, to dodge this particular minefield, how about bringing in a helper who will teach your child the joy of sharing without any pressure - or even parental input?

Your Family Dog!

There she is, waiting in the wings, always happy to oblige with a bit of company.

Careful introductions

You have doubtless put plenty of effort into ensuring that child and dog got off to a good start - starting early in pregnancy acclimatising your dog to baby gear, sounds, smells (see Resources below for help with this). 

Puppies and children need no-pressure interactions from the start. Plenty of ideas and resources in this post | FREE EMAIL COURSE | Dog training, new puppy, puppy training, dogs and children | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Exposure to each other should be limited and always actively supervised. The child should never be allowed to badger the dog, and - of course - you never leave any child alone with any dog, not even for a moment, not even while you answer the phone. Always take one of them with you.

You’ll need to teach the dog a default  Leave it - check out the step-by-step book here - so that boundaries (toys, food, beds) are clear and there's no confusion. And your baby will need to learn the same trick! It’s part of learning respect for others and their space and things. 

Oh, and no cutesy pictures of the baby crawling on or hugging the dog please! A little study of Dog Body Language will show you how close many of these babes you see on the internet are to a bite.

Toddlers and older children

So, having carefully worked through all that, the pay-off is that your small child should already have a firm relationship with your dog, enjoying the fun she brings to play, and the comfort of a soft, fluffy friend to commune with when in need of company or reassurance.

You can encourage your child to include the dog in his plans. You can encourage him to think of her needs. 

Puppies and children are a mix made in heaven. But things could go badly wrong! Check out the ideas and resources in this post | FREE EMAIL COURSE | Dog training, new puppy, puppy training, dogs and children, dog biting child | #newpuppy, #dogtraining, #newrescuedog, #puppytraining, #dogbehavior, #dogbiteschild | www.brilliantfamilydog.com
  • “What’s Maisie having for dinner?” Your child can help prepare her something he knows she likes, and learn to see to her needs before he gets his own supper.
  • “Where’s Maisie going to sit?” you may ask when being shown a splendid “treehouse” in the hedge. This is probably just a muddy hole with some branches over it - but it’s an important construction! And there may well be a place for your dog built in to the plan already.
  • “Shall we bring Maisie?” You can discuss how Maisie may feel about the proposed outing, and whether she’d be happier coming or staying at home. 
  • “Do you think Maisie would like to be left alone to sleep now?” Oh how important this one is! Maisie has a right to her own privacy, and will need to sleep at least as much as your baby does. You can juggle the waking and sleeping times so that there are only very few times when both are active and need that constant supervision from you. An under-rested dog is just the same as a fractious overtired toddler - she can’t cope when she needs to be asleep and is being poked and prodded. Don’t test your dog’s patience!

Spontaneous Sharing

Sharing his treehouse, his games, his excitement, his sadness - and sometimes the food he doesn’t want to eat, secretly dropped into Maisie’s waiting mouth below the table - will give your small child a way to express himself and his feelings without the complications of human interactions or sibling competition. 

If he doesn’t want to feature the dog in one of his games or imaginings right now, then she’ll be happy to doze in her bed till she’s needed. No offence taken.

He will learn the pleasure of sharing in a simple, natural way - without us having to keep telling him.

Putting the dog’s needs first, helping her with the things she can’t do herself, and appreciating the things she can do so much better than he can - having her find lost shoes, for instance - will teach your child empathy faster than any other way I know.

The Darlings in Peter Pan had Nana. You have your own nursemaid. Put her to work for you!

Get your free email course to sort out lots of puppy problems

I wish I could take my excitable dog on family outings!

Do you long to take your tricky dog on family outings? You can! Follow the suggestions here and you can make it work, and really enjoy your family dog | FREE EMAIL COURSE | Reactive dog, problem dog, fearful dog, dog behavior | #problemdog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Yes! You can!

One of the reasons you got a family dog was the enticing thought of outings - to the pub, the cafe, the beach, forest parks … What could be nicer than enjoying a walk in beautiful scenery, and ending the visit in congenial surroundings with everyone tucking in to good food and drink?

But the reality arrived in your fluffy bundle of puppyness, and you soon discovered that your family dog had other ideas about how life should work!

So you may have a dog who’s ebullient, boisterous, loves everyone, and you feel you can’t inflict that on a pubful of people wanting a peaceful refreshment stop. 

Or maybe your dog is reactive - shy, anxious, “aggressive” - and struggles to be in the same space as strange people and - worse - their strange dogs.

Your ideas of family outings with your dog have been put on hold for an indefinite period, until … until what? Until he gets to age 11 and calms down a bit? Until he suddenly decides he’s no longer afraid of people and dogs? Until he’s able to pass a dog on the path without a meltdown?

You could be waiting a long time!

So let’s speed this up - a lot. 

A portable parking spot

One game all dogs should learn is how to relax on their mat. Once your dog knows that if the mat is on the floor, then he should be on it, calmly waiting for you to reward him for staying there, then you can consider going out to places.

For precise, step-by-step, instructions on how to achieve this, go to my Books page where you’ll find that a whole book on calming your dog down is free! Yes, really …

Want to take your dog on a picnic? Follow the suggestions here to prepare, and you can make it work, and really enjoy your family dog | FREE EMAIL COURSE | Reactive dog, problem dog, fearful dog, dog behavior | #problemdog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

I can’t tell you the number of students who have found this skill so useful - at home, when friends visit, in cafes, on trains, on buses, at training class, on holiday, at the shops, at friends’ houses, at the vet’s - the list is endless.

If you’re starting with a puppy, so much the better. This can all be part of her valuable socialisation program.

“We thought about delaying getting our new German Shepherd puppy because we had already arranged a short holiday with friends. Our breeder persuaded us that we shouldn’t wait and that a holiday was an ideal time to have our puppy bond with us. So we collected our 8 week old puppy and spent 2 weeks getting to know one another, then headed off with our friends by car and then ferry to the Isle of Skye. Before she was 11 weeks old, puppy Elva had been in the car, on a train, and on a ferry - and she took it all in her stride. People might worry about meeting enough people in the important socialisation phase in a puppy’s life but everywhere we went, she was a people-magnet with everyone wanting to pet her. She loved all the attention and we loved that she was interacting with so many people!
I’d had concerns about travelling with a puppy but we’d started crate training right away. Our travel crate was invaluable in the car and a great place for a tired puppy while we went out for dinner with our friends. By evening, she was more than happy to sleep quietly in her crate until we came back.”
Amanda and Elva, German Shepherd puppy

And Ellen travelled a lot with her Border Collie pup Selkie, even at only four months!

“The games have helped greatly with making puppy trips easier and laying the foundations of good communication. She's particularly great on her mat on buses, trains and in pubs!
 
Teaching your dog to lie on her mat is an invaluable skill for being able to go on family outings later | FREE VIDEO COURSE | Reactive dog, problem dog, fearful dog, dog behavior | #problemdog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

Mat is King!

So matwork will get you part of the way there - and may be all you need for your excitable dog. You also have to make life as easy as possible for your worried dog.

For this you need to work on techniques and strategies to help him adjust to our world - there are plenty here to get started on at Brilliant Family Dog

And the most important thing for your reactive dog is distance. So a good place to start would be an establishment with a large, open, garden where you can get away from other people and be out of their way. If you go to a crowded place and your dog surprises you by being “fine” with all the busyness, think again. It’s more likely that your dog is exhibiting a learned helplessness - he can’t escape, it’s all too stressful, so he shuts down and waits for it all to be over. 

So heading off on this type of outing can only be done when you know there’s a good chance that with all your preparatory training, your dog will be able to cope. 

Forward planning

Either way, you need to plan this trip! 

Here’s a wonderful example of just how effective this can be, from Kerina, one of the students on From Growly Dog to Confident Dog

“We had aimed to go to the pub today and had it planned out to the letter. If either of the dogs got too stressed we wouldn’t stay for lunch, just a drink. We plotted the route yesterday.
I was prepared, had packed toys for the dogs, frozen kongs, coolmat for Spud and blanket for Robin, water from home and some kibble and treats. We chose a table that was at the side, right by the river, and both dogs settled.”
Teaching your dog to lie on her mat is an invaluable skill for being able to go on family outings later | FREE VIDEO COURSE | Reactive dog, problem dog, fearful dog, dog behavior | #problemdog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com


Later the dogs enjoyed more of their river walk and a swim. They couldn’t have had such fun from the day without the thought Kerina and her sister put into it.

It didn’t take much to take all this stuff with them - think how much a toddler’s family has to pack for a couple of hours! - but it paid off many times over.

An important part of Kerina’s plan was to abort the trip if things weren’t going well. Always be ready to get out of Dodge. If your dog is stressed it’s not going to be much fun for any of you. And if your dog’s having an exciting walk, with lots of running and sniffing, be sure to factor in plenty of downtime. That’s when those prepared foodtoys and the mat come into their own. 

So get everything ready, do all the training first, plan a trip, plan your exit strategy, and enjoy the family outings you were so looking forward to when you decided to get a dog to share your life. 

Yes, it can happen.

 

Got a difficult dog? A shy, anxious, worried, aggressive, “growly” dog? Join our 5 day Workshop - entirely free! - and learn new ways to make the changes you want | FREE VIDEO COURSE | Reactive dog, problem dog, fearful dog, dog behavior | #problemdog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

 

 

You’ll find a week’s worth of tips for calm walks and outings here in this free Workshop!  

Check it out here

 

All text and images © Copyright 2018 Beverley Courtney