Tag Archives: doggie fun and fitness

Day 2: Turning a Difficult Dog Into a Well Behaved one

15253394_10209992978714150_4391550119704422287_n I waited as long as it took for him to show an interest in me before I gave him any attention. It took a day but I would have waited a week… He didn’t have any interest in me yesterday, so I didn’t force myself on him. Trying too hard can get you bit. So today he looked up at me, in my eyes for the first time. Bingo! Look who is my new friend!








Also, I changed his name. He is looking at me now when I say his name more than most people’s dogs look at them. Why? Because I haven’t spoken to him yet, so when I did, my words had more value. Most people I meet talk their dogs ears off & wonder why they don’t listen to them. We all know someone who talks incessantly & what do we do? Tune them out right? Our dogs will do the same to us if we talk too much. The only words I’ve said to him so far are his new name & “go potty”. So when I speak he looks at me. This is an awesome start. Stay tuned for more! Feel free to post any questions!



How To Turn A Difficult Dog Into A Well-Balanced Dog cont.


Day 1,  evening


Wrapping up Day 1. Brought him home on leash in my car. In case he ran around like crazy, I could grab leash. He will ALWAYS be on a training collar until I fully trust him 100% (think several months, not days or weeks). Why? He may slip out of a regular collar. Especially a nervous dog. See it all the time.
He got home. Walked him around potty area in my FENCED in yard on leash. Yes even though my yard is fenced he is still on leash. Why? Because I can’t control him yet. He could run around my yard like a maniac & I would end up chasing him looking like a fool. He is also learning where I want him to potty so my yard won’t be one giant toilet. My dog Ziva goes out front door “go out back” & she goes around the house to potty out back.




ann4Next, the crate. He goes from door to crate. Yes I practice what I preach. He went straight to the crate where he will be only allowed for at least a few days. When he is a little more settled he’ll be out of crate next to me on leash only. Gradual freedom is the best way to a well-behaved dog. Once you give your dog freedom without it being earned, it is hard to take that back.

I hope you all are learning, enjoying these posts. This is not just a “look how easy/fast I can turn a dog around”. Or “look how great I am for taking in a dog in need”. On the contrary I’m hoping to show you how much work goes into making a good dog. My dog Ziva started off worse than all your dogs combined! But by doing my due diligence she turned into an amazing dog. It takes effort but isn’t miraculous by any stretch. Ok good night & more tomorrow.


How To Turn A Difficult Dog Into A Well-Balanced Dog

Day 1, 30 minutes after surrender

new dog 30 mins later

Meet my new dog Annyong. Owner surrendered him to me because he was beyond her skill level (he’s a tough dog).
I haven’t even touched him yet & won’t until he wants me to. He has no interest in me. Only searching & going back to his family. Very sad. What I do is paramount to his peace of mind, which will eventually transition him from difficult  dog to safe dog. 


  1. I will wait until he shows an interest in me before pushing myself on him.
  2. I’m across the street in the train parking lot avoiding any activity that could cause a reaction from him. Why? I want to set him up for success rather than set him up for a correction. He isn’t ready for distractions yet. When he is, I will do it slowly.

Tips For Introducing Your Dog To A New Canine Friend – Part One

 “What is a good way to introduce my dog to my friend’s new dog?”

First – What NOT to Do
Bringing your dog over to another dog on leash (or vice versa) is not the ideal way to introduce two dogs.

Reasoning: Often people talk excitedly & try to encourage a dog to sniff another dog. People often misread a dog’s wagging tail as a sign of being happy, when it just means it’s excited or alert.

But is excited always a good thing?

An excited dog can annoy a calm nervous dog just the way an excited person can annoy a shy person wanting to be left alone. What would a shy person do? Maybe walk away. A dog would likely too…if it could. But with an unknowing owner not allowing a leashed dog to move away, it can turn ugly. If that dog isn’t allowed to move about freely, it could growl at the other dog.

And what would you do if your dog growled at another dog? Sadly, most people would scold the dog for growling. “Hey! Stop that. Be nice!”. When in fact the dog is just trying to say he’s uncomfortable.

The best thing to do when a dog growls (at a dog or person) is to give the dog more space. If the dog’s growl isn’t heeded, it can escalate to a snap or bite. Now the other dog may get attacked & people will come to me to fix the dog that was attacked & it was because his owner wasn’t teaching him manners.


The golden is getting into another dog’s space, either he doesn’t know or doesn’t care that he’s making another dog uncomfortable.

Like the picture here. The golden is getting into another dog’s space, either he doesn’t know or doesn’t care that he’s making another dog uncomfortable. If your child were chasing after a shy kid who was trying to get away, you’d stop him right? Let’s talk in human terms for a minute. If you approached me to say hi, and I backed away, what would you do? You would stop moving right? If you proceeded to approach me as I backed away from you, you’d be considered a weirdo right? I see this ALL THE TIME with dogs. Dogs, like humans, do not come out of the womb with manners or social skills. It’s up to us as their parents to guide them through this crazy world.

We teach our children to say please & thank you, to say excuse me & not grab things out of your hands….we need to teach our dogs not to run up to another dog. I’ve heard a zillion times on facebook “My dog likes other dogs, but just doesn’t like getting charged at”, like it’s their dogs problem. I say “I don’t either!” why should we expect a dog to appreciate getting charged at by a complete stranger. If a stranger (or strange dog) came charging up at you, I don’t think you’d appreciate that either. You’d be likely to run away or go on offense if you were trapped (think: on leash) –you wouldn’t foolishly assumed they were friendly, would you?

Yet we expect our dogs to accept being charged at. In class I always ask the people if they think of their dogs as their babies. Almost all of them say yes, which I think is a good thing! If you think of your dog as your baby, you will teach them manners & protect them from harm. Look at this picture. This black & white dog looks terrified, does it not? If your baby were being approached by a scary looking guy, would you worry about hurting his feelings when you told him to back off? I think we need to worry more about what our dogs think of us. Do they think we will protect them from harm? The more they feel we have their back, the less anxious they will feel when approached by a person or dog they may make them uncomfortable.

Stay Tuned For theNext Article on How to Best Introduce Two Dogs

Had so much fun with these guys this week at the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) conference 2016.

Already can’t wait for next year!

Their Mission:
The INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CANINE PROFESSIONALS is dedicated to the education, development and support of dog training professional world-wide. The IACP provides a community where experienced dog trainers mentor, guide and cultivate members to their full potential. Our commitment to the highest quality training increases our members’ skills and abilities, develops professional recognition and improves communication on training best practices. We support our members’ rights to properly use and promote effective, humane training tools and methods to create success for each dog and owner, while expanding the understanding and cooperation among canine professionals and dog owners across the full spectrum of the canine industry.