Dog Blogs (mobile view)

  • Rescue Tails #3
    Written by: Amy McDonald Mary Lou and Her Three Bears If you see Mary Lou Gregoris arriving at the dog park, you may think at first that she is being followed by three large black bears. Mary Lou will tell you they aren’t just bears, they are very lovable teddy bears. This would be quickly confirmed to anyone who wishes Continue Reading...
  • Rescue Tails #2
    Written by: Amy McDonald Portia — Fastest Couch Potato in the World Wendy and Bryan Osmar have always had a dog in the family; like a fur-child to go along with their two human ones. There was Roxie, the boxer, then Kady, the West Highland Terrier, and then Newman, the English Bulldog. But it is a bittersweet reality that dogs Continue Reading...
  • Rescue Tails #1
    Written by: Amy McDonald Carol Verdurmen and her husband, Robert, gave lots of thought to getting a dog. In fact, they contemplated the idea for three years! When Carol retired in 2006, they felt the time was right and visited the Oakville Humane Society. As they walked down a corridor, Robert spotted a puppy through the window of a closed Continue Reading...
  • Ending the Tug of War
    Written by: Amy McDonald You’ve probably seen them – those poor creatures trying to keep up as they get dragged around by the leash when they are out on their walks. They get yanked along willy-nilly at their companion’s whim. The harder they try to keep up, the more they are pulled. Yup, we’re talking about those poor humans who Continue Reading...
  • Dog Fight!
    Written by: Amy McDonald Most well-socialized dogs rarely get into dog fights. But occasionally even a docile dog can be drawn into combat. The causes of fights are varied and many, but typically one dog is guarding a resource — food, a toy, personal space, his owner, or himself — and feels threatened in some way by another dog. Thankfully, Continue Reading...
  • Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?
    Written by: Amy McDonald You’ve probably been there. You are happily walking your dog in the dog park or along a sidewalk and he spies something interesting and hurries over to investigate. The next thing you know, you are witnessing your beloved dog, the cuddly buddy who gives you loving wet kisses on your face, joyfully scarfing down poop. Lovely. Continue Reading...
  • Leave it – Further Steps
    Written by: Amy McDonald Once your dog knows that when you say “leave it!” to the treat enclosed in your fist (see the post “Leave it! A Good First Step”) he can expect a tasty treat from your other hand, it is a fairly simple process to have him shift his attention to your face instead. Practise the exercise with Continue Reading...
  • “Leave it!” A Good First Step
    Written by: Amy McDonald Dogs evolved as scavengers, and even though most dogs no longer need to scavenge for food to survive, the instinct to sniff out and eat anything and everything that even vaguely resembles food remains an extremely strong doggie drive. That’s why training your dog to “leave it!” is one of the most useful skills you can Continue Reading...
  • Happy Time
    Written by: Amy McDonald If you have spent any time in the company of two or more dogs, you will probably have witnessed the common doggie behaviour fondly known as humping. It doesn’t matter if the dog is spayed or neutered, male or female, puppy or adult, most dogs will, at some point in their lives, mount another dog. To Continue Reading...
  • Keeping Four Paws on the Ground
    Written by: Amy McDonald Jumping up on people is a natural behaviour for all puppies and dogs. They want to get closer to us to get our attention. It is very hard to resist rewarding a dog for this behaviour by giving him that attention, especially a cute little puppy. But when you do, you are reinforcing the jumping behaviour. Continue Reading...
  • Total Recall – Part II
    Written by: Amy McDonald Many dog owners find that their dogs are pretty good at coming when called when they are at home, but when they get out to the dog park, their dogs suddenly become deaf to their calls. This is because at home, you are usually the most interesting thing in the immediate area – at least until Continue Reading...
  • Total Recall — Teaching a Dog to Come When Called
    Written by: Amy McDonald Teaching your dog to come when called, every time, might be the most important thing you ever teach him. Imagine a dog owner opens her front door to go in or out. Her dog spies a squirrel running across the street. Dog gives chase and…well, there are a few possible endings to this scenario. If the Continue Reading...
  • Teaching an Adult Dog to Sit
    Written by: Amy McDonald There are many reasons why an adult dog might need to be trained, or retrained, to sit. It could be that the owner didn’t train the dog as a puppy, not seeing it as necessary; however, now that the cute little puppy is a larger and more assertive version of its former self, its inability to Continue Reading...
  • Teaching a Puppy to Sit – Food Reward Method
    Written by: Amy McDonald It is fantastic if you can train your puppy to sit on command using only voice and physical contact rewards; it means that you do not have to go through the process of weaning the puppy off food rewards. However, on the broad spectrum of puppy emotional states, many puppies are on the extreme ends; they Continue Reading...
  • Teaching a Puppy to Sit – Praise Only Method
    Written by: Amy McDonald Dogs, like children, are not born knowing how to behave appropriately. The good news is that whether you have a new puppy, a new-to-you adult dog, or the same old dog you’ve had for years that desperately needs to be taught new tricks, almost any dog can learn good manners and leave bad manners behind; however, Continue Reading...
  • Methods of Dog Training
    Written by: Amy McDonald Lead with force or lead with finesse? A generation ago, it was acceptable for parents and teachers to discipline children with corporal punishment. The theory was that if you didn’t correct bad behaviour with physical pain, a child would not learn proper behaviour, hence the saying “Spare the rod, spoil the child”. We now understand that Continue Reading...
  • Be the Leader of Your Pack
    Written by: Amy McDonald It’s only natural to want to be best friends with your dog; after all, companionship is the number one reason to have a dog. But this desire to be friends often causes dog owners to treat their dogs as they would a human friend. They avoid taking on the role of master because it makes them Continue Reading...