Family Dog University Blog

Where we discuss all things dog training!

Stuck at Home with a BORED Dog!

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With the COVID-19 pandemic, people are finding the entirety of their lives upended. For dog owners in particular, they have an additional challenge: coping with their super bored dogs!

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My Puppy Said, "NOPE!"

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​We had hiked. We had played. He had just finished a lovely romp in the exercise field. My 8-month old Doberman puppy was hot and tired, clearly in need of a nap. Yet when I went to leash him up, he looked me square in the eye and conveyed, "NOPE!" as he turned around and gleefully ran in the opposite direction. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome t...
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The Art of Not Saying Hello

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When you have a dog, especially a young puppy, you may feel pressured to have your four-legged furry friend go and meet every single person out there in the big wide world. After all, that would be proper socialization...right?!  If you didn't do this, you would be shirking on your dog owner responsibilities! Well, I'm here to t...
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For the Love of All, Pick Up After Your Dog!

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The title says it all: if you are a dog owner and take your dog anywhere, carry poop bags with you ready and willing to not only pick up your dog's poop but to also throw it away in an appropriate trash bin. There is no two ways about it, this is your responsibility. We will not be tackling this topic lightly. Be ready to be called out if you are one of the offenders of leaving your dog's defecation litter everywhere for other people to deal with.

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Choose With Your Mind, Not Your Heart

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When it is time for you to get a new puppy or dog, there is a flood of emotions. Excitement. Anticipation. Glee. Concern. Worry. All of this is a normal part of the process. However, it is crucially important that you understand WHY it is you want a new puppy or dog and if the adorable furry creature before you fits the bill. If they don't, it is best for you to use your mind and pass them by, rather than use your heart and cause it to break later. 

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Trainers: No Need to Take Others Down

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I'm dedicating this blog post to all of my fellow professional dog trainers and instructors out there and I will begin it with this plea: we need to do better as professionals. We need to understand that in order to promote our own services or businesses, it is not, I repeat, is NOT necessary to take others down. Yet time and time ag...
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Treats...Why and How to Use Them

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​In talking about dog training, a common question that will come up is whether you should use treats or not. In my professional opinion, you should absolutely use treats when you are training your dog. However, you must do so mindfully if you want to be successful.

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Dear Vinny, The Off-Leash Chihuahua...

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​I'm sorry that your person didn't think it was necessary to have you on-leash today. That meant you were able to dart across the vet's parking lot to go after my nearly 75lb Doberman. I was trying to figure out what all the yelling was about and only had a few nanoseconds to process your small snarling body making a beeline for my dog. I barely had an opportunity to step in front of my boy and growl "HEY!" at you before you flattened on the ground as your very large person ran up and yelled at you. He swooped you up, chastised you for going after a dog that was so much larger than you are and apologized to me before walking off. Truly Vinny, I'm sorry.

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Learning (and Instructing) is HARD!

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For people that don't know me, almost every weekend is dedicated to something "doggy."  If I'm not hosting a trial or seminar, I'm at a trial or seminar and if I'm not doing either I teach a lot of classes on the weekends.  A few weekends ago I didn't have anything scheduled other than classes, so my husband and I went on a shor...
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Why I Don't Offer Virtual Behavior Modification Training

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​My bread and butter for a good portion of my professional dog training career was working with fearful, reactive and aggressive dogs. This included offering reactive dog and Control Unleashed group training classes, private lessons and working with behavior unit dogs at shelters. So, why aren't I offering those same services through my online dog training businesses? Simply put: it's not safe.

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Professional Trainers: Tread Carefully

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​Being a professional dog trainer and instructor is a gift, a privilege and a position that should not be taken lightly. Anyone and everyone who calls themselves a "professional dog trainer" or "instructor" needs to understand the responsibility that is upon their shoulders. Your words and actions carry incredible weight and significance to any dog owner, handler and fellow trainer who comes into contact with them. Tread carefully.

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The Art of Petting

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​You see a puppy or a dog. The very first thing you want to do is reach out and pet said puppy or dog. They are fluffy, they are cute, they are adorable, they are squishable...YOU MUST PET THEM! Before you lunge in to get your pet on, here's a question for you: do you have any idea how to properly pet a dog?

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Why Your Dog Needs Training

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You may not want to admit it, but you are living with an alien. That furry, cuddly little creature at your feet mighty as well be from Mars. What is normal for a dog to do is NOT normal for a person to do. This is why dog training is so important.

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