How High-Spirited Toby, Returned to Rescue 20 Times, Got a Forever Home

toby

 The rambunctious, intelligent terrier needed the right person and the right trainer. Here’s how we helped Toby.

Sarah Stiles, director of A Soft Place to Land dog rescue, tossed and turned every night for two years, asking herself the same question: “What are we going to do about Toby?”

Toby is a 6-year-old mischief-maker of a dog. He looks just like a rare Decker Terrier. Think of a stout, tri-color Doberman on steroids, and that’s Toby. Sarah did not worry about his fate after he was returned to her from his first foster home for being “impossible,” nor the second home for being “difficult,” nor the third for being “a troublemaker.” But it was a huge concern after the 20th time Toby was returned. Sarah began to wonder if she’d ever find the perfect home for the smartest dog she’s ever known …

[ Read the full article on Dogster.com ]

Dogs and Wildlife Don’t Mix

This article first  appeared as a Colorado Parks & Wildlife Press Release on December 23, 2015.

Annie loves training her clients' dogs in the mountains of Southwest Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Tica Clarke Photography.)

Annie loves training her clients’ dogs in the mountains of Southwest Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Tica Clarke Photography.)

We live in a visual candyland here in Colorado, and dog owners love nothing more than getting out into the natural beauty with their dogs. What’s wrong with that? On the surface, it’s a great thing to get exercise for both dog and owner. Unfortunately, there is often one thing missing on the trails, the lack of which endangers dogs, people and wildlife: a truly reliable recall to which a dog will respond.

Can you honestly call your dog off from its thrilling chase of wildlife? Dogs chasing wildlife is not only illegal, it’s dangerous for everyone. Wild animals cannot afford the calories, stress and dangers from a high-speed chase. Dogs that don’t have a reliable recall get lost in the mountains nearly every week. If I had a dollar for every client who called me after their dog was attacked by another off-leash dog, I would be a very rich dog trainer.

[ Read the rest of this article on the CPW web site … ]

Dogs and Wildlife Don’t Mix

This article first  appeared as a Colorado Parks & Wildlife Press Release on December 23, 2015.

Annie loves training her clients' dogs in the mountains of Southwest Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Tica Clarke Photography.)

Annie loves training her clients’ dogs in the mountains of Southwest Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Tica Clarke Photography.)

We live in a visual candyland here in Colorado, and dog owners love nothing more than getting out into the natural beauty with their dogs. What’s wrong with that? On the surface, it’s a great thing to get exercise for both dog and owner. Unfortunately, there is often one thing missing on the trails, the lack of which endangers dogs, people and wildlife: a truly reliable recall to which a dog will respond.

Can you honestly call your dog off from its thrilling chase of wildlife? Dogs chasing wildlife is not only illegal, it’s dangerous for everyone. Wild animals cannot afford the calories, stress and dangers from a high-speed chase. Dogs that don’t have a reliable recall get lost in the mountains nearly every week. If I had a dollar for every client who called me after their dog was attacked by another off-leash dog, I would be a very rich dog trainer.

[ Read the rest of this article on the CPW web site … ]

Are You Training a Puppy? Read “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog”

how long do puppies sleep

Dr. Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz’s book is about traumatized children, but it offers valuable lessons that will help you raise a well-adjusted dog.

It’s hard to find books these days that keep me up until I have finished the last word. Perhaps I am too picky, as a writer myself? In any case, I have just finished a book that made me shove aside everything (including eating!) until I consumed it: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook, by Dr. Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz.

Before I go any further, it’s important to note that … [ Read the rest at Dogster.com ]

Are You Training a Puppy? Read “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog”

how long do puppies sleep

Dr. Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz’s book is about traumatized children, but it offers valuable lessons that will help you raise a well-adjusted dog.

It’s hard to find books these days that keep me up until I have finished the last word. Perhaps I am too picky, as a writer myself? In any case, I have just finished a book that made me shove aside everything (including eating!) until I consumed it: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebookby Dr. Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz.

Before I go any further, it’s important to note that … [ Read the rest at Dogster.com ]

How to Prepare Your Dog for Holiday Guests

monster

If your dog will be around holiday visitors, follow this advice from Dogster resident trainer Annie Phenix on acclimating him now.

The holiday season is upon us — and by “us,” I mean both our human and our canine families. Dogs are affected by changes in their environments, and from October through the new year, dogs will experience many changes in their homes with visitors, celebrations, and highly distracted humans. Prepare and protect your canine best friend from these environmental changes … [ Read the rest on Dogster.com ]

Ask the Trainer: How Can I Stop My Dog from Barking in the Car?

If your dog barks her head off during rides in the car, you have two training options for keeping her calm and quiet.

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A client recently asked me this question:

I love my sweet Doberman mix, but he has one annoying habit: He barks his head off in the car. Is here anything I can do to stop this behavior?

Jennifer G., Seattle, Washington

Dear Jennifer,

Thanks for coming to me with this common concern. I know it can hurt human ears and test human patience to have constant barking in the tight space of a car (or anywhere, for that matter). Luckily, there are many force-free ways to curb your dog’s barking enthusiasm (see what I did there?).

[ Read the rest at Dogster.com ]

Ask a Trainer: How Can I Get My Dog to Stop Licking Me?

Dog licking hand by Shutterstock.

I recently received a question from a reader:

My dog is perfect except for one problem: He’s constantly licking my hands and tries to lick my face. How can I convince him to stop doing this? Thanks!

Jason, Tampa, FL

Dear Jason,

Thanks for you question, I find it salivating! Oh, sorry. The English major in me couldn’t let that go unsaid.

Excessive licking — and sometimes any canine licking at all — really bothers some folks. Everything is relative, of course. I work every week with dogs who have bite histories, so in those dogs I would greatly prefer that they learn to lick instead of bite, but that’s not your issue.

[ Read the rest on Dogster.com! ]

Ask a Trainer: How Can I Fix My Dog’s Severe Separation Anxiety?

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I recently received a question from a reader:

Please help! I’ve just adopted a darling dog I already love so much, but she has severe separation anxiety and has jumped out of windows when left alone, and she destroys my house. She has recently started lunging at dogs on leash, as well. I am worried I will have to return her.

Sarah W., Arlington, VA

Dear Sarah,

You are already one of my favorite humans because you opened your heart and home to a dog in need. In this case, your new housemate has a very big need. Separation anxiety and leash reactivity are complex issues and, as such, not subjects I can advise in a short column how to fix. Entire books have been written about both concerns, which can cause havoc and heartache for both species …

[ Read the rest at Dogster.com ]

Ask a Trainer: How Can I Fix My Dog’s Severe Separation Anxiety?

Dogster_askATrainer_header_v3_0

I recently received a question from a reader:

Please help! I’ve just adopted a darling dog I already love so much, but she has severe separation anxiety and has jumped out of windows when left alone, and she destroys my house. She has recently started lunging at dogs on leash, as well. I am worried I will have to return her.

Sarah W., Arlington, VA

Dear Sarah,

You are already one of my favorite humans because you opened your heart and home to a dog in need. In this case, your new housemate has a very big need. Separation anxiety and leash reactivity are complex issues and, as such, not subjects I can advise in a short column how to fix. Entire books have been written about both concerns, which can cause havoc and heartache for both species …

[ Read the rest at Dogster.com ]