Category Archives: Blog

Bundle Up For Winter Weather

It’s a cold and windy winter snow storm! We hope you get to bundle up with your furry friends and stay warm and safe today!  However, we are here taking care of our dog boarding clients  and we ask our daycare clients to call before they head over. If you have any questions give us a call at 781-585-3647

Thank you

Doggie Fun and Fitness

Annyong in crate during superbowl

Dealing with Company and your dog during the Super Bowl

People ask me all the time what to do when company comes over. That seems to be a big challenge for most dog owners. Either their dog wants to charge to jump, lick & pester or, to see what they taste like! My new dog Annyong is more toward the latter. He probably would have been fine, but since I didn’t have the time or attention to focus on him 100%, I kept him in the crate for safety reasons. This is what I would recommend unless you are able to focus on his behavior. Why risk it?

So what I did was (video below):

Started with a dog comfortable in his crate, in a relaxed mood.

Next, as company comes in to watch The Superbowl, I drop his supper-kibble by kibble- into his crate to give him something else to think about. By using his meal I can give him hundreds of “rewards” or distractions without worrying about him overeating. I also don’t have to worry about him not being hungry & more interested in focusing on “intruders!”.

My sister, also a dog trainer assists me by giving some kibble to get him thinking about that rather than all the commotion. As time goes by, his outburst get fewer & fewer. Each time I give him some more of his meal, sprinkled in with some treats for good measure. If I was able to do this on a weekly basis he would be much more settled with company. My girl, Ziva barked a little when the family arrived but quieted down almost immediately.

 

Resource Guarding Aftermath

Low Conflict Resource Guarding

So my new dog Annyong isn’t perfect. I knew this going in. Last week during his earned freedom time he picked up one of my kid’s toys & wouldn’t let me have it. I didn’t think he’d bite me over it. But he did. I tried to take it from him & he took a piece of my flesh from my hand. (see video below) 

E-collar set on 8

E-collar set on 8

So today (with e-collar already on) he had taken something into his crate  during his freedom time. Instead of going head on “give it to me, drop it, out” etc. I told him to get out of his crate “come”  as I tapped the e-collar (on 8/100) & had him go to place. Then I was able to safely take an object left behind from his crate.

Jade with Gabe

Meet the Staff: Quiet Dog Daycare Jade

How long have you worked here?

I’ll have worked here a year in January. I work as the office manager and I also take in dogs at drop off in the morning. I also am part of the Quiet Dog Daycare team & Last Hope volunteer.

Why did you choose to work here?

Getting a job here was actually a happy accident. I had been working as a kennel attendant at another facility and noticed that there was very little structure when it came to behaviors, training, leash handling, etc. My dogs went to daycare here already and one of them did training a few years back so I reached out to Laurie in hopes to learn some more training skills and she offered me a job!

Jade with Sasha

Jade with Sasha

What did you expect it to be like?

I expected to gain a ton of knowledge about dog behavior and interaction and I have done just that! I’m much more confident handling dogs of all temperaments, even my own!

What has surprised you the most?

I was surprised with how much I thought I knew and how much I really didn’t. I didn’t think socialization was as vital as it really is. But I’m pretty sure I learn something new that surprises me every day.

What do you like best about your job? I love it all but I look forward to seeing dogs’ progress here. Dogs that come for training and leave with confident owners. Even dogs that come for daycare who start off nervous, not knowing how to play and now get dropped off so happy to be here 🙂

What do you like least? It’s really hard to see a dog that does so well here, go home and regress. Knowing what I know now, owning a  dog takes consistent work and effort!

Silly Lisa Sharland

Meet the Staff- Quiet Dog Daycare- Lisa Sharland

How long have you worked here? Going on 4 yrs here. Monday – Friday I’m on the floor supervising the dogs at Doggie Fun & Fitness. On Saturdays I assist w/ training classes. I also help on the road with the Quiet Dog Daycare workshop.

Why did you choose to work here? Typical answer- simply love animals.

What did you expect it to be like? Can’t say i had any clear expectations of what the work would be like, came from a CNA job, thought i was just transferring caring for humans to caring for canines.

What has surprised you the most? Puppies are hard!! And do not stop moving!! And do not stop piddling!! It is a lot more physical job than most people would guess.

What do you like best about your job? Best thing is seeing the shy/nervous dogs come out of their shells and live without stressing.

Lisa as Employee of the Month

Lisa as Employee of the Month

What do you like least? Worst thing is once in a great while seeing those dogs that can’t just be comfortable around their own kind. It is definitely a rare occurrence, but heart breaks for them.

Day 4 progress. Dog v. Cat

I haven’t been able to practice this for a few days… I got further than before, however I didn’t have all my tools (prong & ecollar) with me. If I had I could have gotten further today. It was the first time he was out of the crate not eating looking at the cat, laying down, so that is good progress. His face wasn’t relaxed though.

That’s our next milestone to be achieved.

Remote collar giving my dog freedom

Annyong is learning to stay close to me, and not trip up my daughter riding her bike. By keeping the distance short I’m now working on getting his attention with a distraction-his kid! He’s doing amazing! Low level e-collar (8/100) is usually not even felt by people. I can’t feel until an 8 & some people can’t feel until a 12. And when you do feel it, it feels like a tickle “I think I felt something”. Hardly shocking. Yes, they go up high, but I don’t use them that way.
You can & should have a dog to be proud of.
Would you like to have a Dream Dog?
http://www.doggiefunandfitness.com/dogtraining.html

Annyong is able to run along loose with his little girl

Day 3 progress. Dog v cat

So as you can see I’m not rushing anything. As a matter of fact I hadn’t thought of introducing them until I noticed Monday my cat wasn’t hiding any more. That indicated to me the dog wasn’t sending off a dangerous vibe anymore. So each day this week I’ve been feeding them closer & closer, challenging Annyong’s impulse control & focus. I want him to choose to make good decisions, not tell him all the time what he should be doing “come sit down stay” blah blah blah.  (video below)

Could I have moved this along faster? Did I have to wait a month, 5 weeks to be exact? Sure I could have brought him to the cat or the cat to him. What would have happened? Dog would have lit up (like he did on day 1) & cat would have ran. Dog would have gotten harsh physical correction to override his strength & intensity on the cat. (This dog was almost impossible to handle when I was just training him under his previous owner). So I would have been forced to be heavy handed with him had I rushed things ahead of their timetable. Cat would have hid longer. Both animals would lose trust in me.

So by going at their pace I’m able to achieve more. Better results with softer handling. They are speaking to us all the time. Are you listening?

Meet the staff: Joe of Doggie Fun & Fitness

How long have you worked here? 5 awesome years TODAY

Why did you choose to work here? An ex coworker from my old grooming shop where I started my trade was an employee at the time.

What did you expect it to be like? I was originally hired as a groomer and had a good idea of what to expect in that aspect, but as for the daycare and training? I had no idea.

 

What has surprised you the most? I’m still in awe and from time to time say “didn’t think I’d ever be in a room with 35+dogs”

What do you like best about your job? Seeing the positive impact we have in dogs and people’s lives alike.

What do you like least? Stepping in poop.. most of the time I laugh about it.

Should I crate train my puppy?

Should I crate train my puppy? by Michelle Gillis of Doggie Fun & Fitness

I hear this all the time…

“I feel bad leaving him in there”

“It’s so mean!”

“I wouldn’t want to be in a cage”

“I want him to sleep in bed with me”

There are so many good reasons to crate train your puppy.  Before I start listing reasons, try to shift to your dog’s perspective.

Human Perspective: a crate seems like a jail cell meaning punishment

Canine Perspective: a crate is a safe place to sleep

Crates are a safe place for a dog to hang without being bothered.  For families with young kids, it’s necessary.  Who wants to take a nap with an unpredictable toddler on the loose?

My dog Annyong loves chilling in his crate. He goes in with the door open, however it’s important you close the door too so it’s on your terms not his.

These are the reasons to crate train…

Housebreaking

Housebreaking problems usually start as a few accidents.  This can turn into a habit that can last through adulthood. If those accidents were not cleaned up properly, we are now blurring the inside/outside the house line. We have to teach a puppy that the smell of urine belongs outside.  This is where the crate comes in…

Puppies like to pee/poop away from where they hang.  The crate is a small version of your house.  Your teaching him “you don’t poop where you hang”.  When he gets older, he will see the house as his crate and never have an accident.

I recommend Natures Miracle for clean up

Safety

Puppies are curious which can lead to mischief.

  • Chewing through live wires
  • Chewing and choking on objects
  • Eating/swallowing dangerous objects (corn on the cob swallowed whole.. $5000 vet bill)
  • Eating/chewing poisonous items (ant traps, odor eaters, anti-freeze)

Separation Anxiety

Crating for small amounts of time at a young age teaches your pup to tolerate being alone.  If your pup is constantly with someone, they will panic when left alone.

Anyone who has a dog with separation anxiety will tell you how awful it is.

Your life will revolve around managing it and it takes a lot of work and help from others to fix.

Signs of separation anxiety

  • Dog will follow you room to room
  • Whining/barking when out of view (excessively)
  • Watches you constantly

When left alone…

  • Scratched trim in doorways, damage to windows
  • Puddles of drool
  • Frantic panting, wild wide eyes, pupils dilated
  • Persistent barking until hoarse

NOT signs of separation anxiety

  • Chewing furniture, shoes, toys
  • Sleeping when you come home/ or excited/happy to see you

Grooming, Vacations, Emergency Vet Visits, etc.

At some point in in your dog’s life he will have to be put in a crate.  Grooming, boarding, vet stays, can be stressful enough, adding crate stress can make things challenging.

“When can we stop using the crate?”

I think 1-½ years old is a reasonable goal but every dog/situation is different.  Some high-energy dogs need it for much longer.  I recommend using it for many years if you spend a lot of time with your dog, mostly to prevent separation anxiety.

So…. crates are good!

Lets stop applying our human perspective and start looking at things through the canine perspective.  We earn our dogs respect that way

Crates should always be used in a positive way, never used for punishment.  Seek a professional trainers advice before forcing a nervous/fearful dog.