Creating a positive association
Reliable K9 Training
Board And Train Programs for dogs
Long nails on dogs not only look bad but are also bad for their health. A lot of my clients tell me that they would love to be able to trim their dog's nails but are often met with resistance in the form of snatching the foot away, trying to run away, even biting.
Creating a positive association
It's important to start with baby steps and keep yourself calm when working through your dog's discomfort. Pairing high-value food with the nail trimming process can help in the beginning.One thing that is very effective while trimming a resistant dog's nails is to touch the feet while you give a little light verbal praise, followed by food, then a repetition of the process. If your dog tries to pull their foot away, say "No" firmly but calmly while squeezing the dog's foot. The squeezing isn't to hurt the dog but lets them know that resistance won't get them what they want. Once the dog stops trying to pull away, immediately release the pressure of the foot. With enough practice, you should be ready to reintroduce the clippers.
Depending on how the dog reacts, you can either touch the nails to the foot or go straight into clipping. You may not get all of the nails done at one time, but it's important to not get stuck in the prepping stage forever. If you accidentally cut the blood vessel in the nail, don't make a big deal out of it, and don't stop the session. Doing so often times confirms the idea that nail trimming is bad in the dog's mind.
Besides the techniques of teaching your dog how to be more accepting of nail trimming, the most important thing is to remain calm. If you feel yourself getting frustrated put your dog away and try again later!
Reliable K9 Training
Board And Train Programs for dogs
Hi Everyone! Flower here!
Guess what?! Today was my adoption day!!
After 3 weeks and 3 days, my trainer and Shelly at Rotten Rottie decided that Stacey and Bill were lucky enough to adopt me! And now I have 2 more brothers and 2 more sisters! Most of them are smaller than me but I had lots of practice with small dogs at my trainers house!
Oh! And I forgot to tell you!! My trainer has a real name! It’s Karen. Karen took me to my new house and we did introductions with the new dogs. I was awesome. I met my new dad for the first time and while I’m still a little shy, Karen said I’m one million times better with men than I used to be! I think a million is a lot.
Both my new mom and dad learned how to use my prong collar and e collar, learned how to manage me and most importantly, were instructed not to love on me right away. Karen said just like I had to have a foundation at her house before affection, my new owners have to do that too. That way, I will see them as strong leaders and not weak softies that need me to manage them!! By the end of my stay with Karen I was able to receive lots of affection from her and it had no negative effect on me. But that’s because I had equal amounts of structure and rules! Stacey and Bill know that if they don’t follow Karen’s instructions, I could regress back to the old me. Nobody wants that version of me so they promised they would keep up their end of the bargain.
When Karen left today, I was hanging out on Place. I knew she was going to leave me because she had some water coming out of her eyes. I watched her leave but knowing Place Command was so helpful because even in a new home, I knew what I was supposed to be doing!
I think my new life is going to be pretty awesome. I’ve been through a lot. From scary shelters, surgeries and multiples homes. With all of that, I am still the happiest and most confident that I’ve ever been in MY LIFE! I thrive with structure! Karen said all dogs do.
Thank you for following my story and please learn from me! Adopted dogs living happy, balanced and safe lives is my legacy!
Love, Flower 🌺
(read the following two blog posts to hear Flower's whole story)
Hi All! Flower here with my one week+ update!
First, I wanted to tell you that my trainer saw all of my well wishes and passed them on to me! We love knowing you care about my story and hopefully my story taught some of you a few things that may help other scared dogs.
Life is pretty ahhhmaaazzzingg over here at DDTAZ! Let me tell you what I’ve been up to!
Most importantly, I’m not guarding ANYTHING! People can come in the house and I don’t bark, Dexter can walk in the kitchen and receive yummy treats and I stay on place and when my trainer hugs her husband, I don’t care! I feel soooo much better!
My walks are really good. My heel command is solid even when a moderately intense dog walks past us. I might look, but I don’t react. My trainer even taught me how to go up and down the kiddie slide! Of course I was scared at first, but not anymore!
I completely understand my e collar pressure and I work at a level 5! I’m working without a leash inside the house. I am still a Rottweiler, so of course I have to be a little stubborn! I wouldn’t want to make it too easy on my trainer!
I’m warming up to my trainers husband. He can walk around the house and Place and I don’t care! I come up for pets but if he makes a weird move like crosses his leg or moves a little too quick it scares me. I don’t act aggressive or anything like that, I just flinch a little and get the hell out of there! But my trainer doesn’t let me run from my fears anymore, so we re group and start over. Because I trust her so much, I let her guide me through that stuff. Today, her husband even took me for a walk and while I’m used to my trainer doing it, I was fine with it.
Yesterday, my trainer took me to Pet Planet! We did some work outside and then went inside. All the things I’ve learned at her house was exactly the same at the store so I was pretty relaxed and just did what she told me to. Men and women walked into the store and there were other dogs there and I stayed in my down. I don’t want to brag but I was awesommmmeee!!!! She said I would feel better if I had clean hair so she gave me a bath there! Now I’m shiny and prettier than I already was.
Some other little things: I was afraid of the water hose in the back yard, but now if I want any petting outside, I have to come up to my trainer and sit while she’s using the hose! Damn, she makes me work for everything! I am awesome in my crate. I play ball by myself sooo cute in the back yard. I jump around and throw the ball so I have to chase it! I met her little dog, Hurley. I didn’t have any aggression towards him, but I did try to be bossy and put my head over his. He corrected me and so did my trainer but I didn’t retaliate at all. Sometimes, Dexter sits on the couch and watches me train. That’s cool too. It’s my trainer’s world and I’m just living in it!!
Oh and last time I told you I would try to find out my trainers name. Her husband calls her Honey so I think that’s her name.
Thanks for checking in!
Love, Flower and Honey 😉🌺
Hi my name is Flower. I want to share my story with you, specifically to people who rescue, adopt and foster dogs, and even more specifically, insecure dogs.
I was abused and then I was rescued and treated for my injured knees and then I went into my new home. I am so thankful that the people who took me in gave me a comfortable bed, good food, nursed me back to health and showed me the human version of love. What I mean is, they tried to show me I was loved and welcome in their home by giving me a ton of affection, full rights to the house and yummy food. That’s how humans show humans they are loved and welcome, right? They gave me everything they thought I ever wanted. And let’s just say, at first, it didn’t suck!!
My trainer says because I am insecure I started to worry that the stuff could be taken away from me and so I started to protect it, including my little human that loved me like I’ve never been loved before! She said there’s a fancy name for it called resource guarding. My unstable mind saw these things as valuable resources.
Let me tell you, protecting a house, my little human, garbage cans, the kitchen and the backyard is a lot of stressful work! While I didn’t want to be in an abusive situation anymore I also didn’t want this full-time job that was given to me! You wouldn't ask a toddler to successfully run a corporation would you? I started being a dog that I didn’t want to be and my people actually started to become afraid of me. They said I couldn’t live there anymore and I was going to be returned!
I didn’t know if ‘returned’ meant that I had to go back to that horrible shelter where all those unwanted dogs bark all the time, but then the lady from Rotten Rottie Rescue walked into my house. She said something about training and then off we went.
We got to DDTAZ and I was kind of jumpy and of course I didn’t really trust this new trainer lady but we started to work right away! There was nothing here to protect so that weight was already lifted from my shoulders. But because I was nervous, I was barking at any noise that I heard and I barked at her Rottweiler, Dexter for really no reason. That dude is confident! He didn’t even flinch when I gave him my mean dog bark! Oh and every time my trainer went to change my leash or move her hands I was super flinchy but she was also so calm and seemed like she knew what she was doing so I didn’t really object too much.
I gotta say, this trainer lady really gets me. She could tell I was worried so we went really slow. We walked slow, she was nice and quiet and she didn’t try to put pressure on me by petting me or touching me. She kept a 25’ leash on me when I went outside to potty so that she didn’t scare me by approaching me to attach a leash. She gave calm, verbal praise when I did good and today she started giving me tiny pets because I showed her I was ready for it. She taught me Place. Ah. Place. I think I’m gonna love Place. At first I hated it and wouldn’t step on it or lay on it. One reason, because I am a Rottweiler after all and wanted to maintain my independence! Two, I thought it would put me in a vulnerable position but now I understand that I can safely lay there and the world can go on around me.
I put some pictures here to show you what else I’ve been up to. This trainer makes me wait at every door I go through AND I have to give her eye contact before I can go! Same for food. I can only eat a little and then she says this ‘out’ word and I have to stop, come, sit, and give eye contact! SMDH!
She said that she’s showing me that I actually don’t own ANYthing to protect. The crate is hers, the food is hers, the doors are hers, she even makes me wait to get on Place so I figured even Place belongs to her.
She is making me walk on this moving street and says it’s great for my confidence and will help teach me to trust her. Something about leadership? I guess that’s a thing.
Oh and the worst one? She said I’m pushy with my nose and demanding of petting. She won’t pet me when I tell her to! Hasn’t she seen how pretty I am? She said she will only pet me for good work. Like, I have to earn it now. That’s some BS!
Fast forward ONLY three days and guess what? I LIKE to do the work! I look at her eyes all the time looking for cues and guidance. On our first walk today, I sat when she stopped and looked at her almost every time! I’m so relaxed in the crate, when she comes out I don’t even stand up! I’m starting to let her change my leash without flinching and I’m slower and less intense with my food and I’m starting to walk away from my food on my own! I don’t bark at all with loud noises and lots of dogs walk by my crate and I don’t even care anymore! What a relief!!
Human love is not the best love for a dog like me. Not at first anyways. You may be able to give me human love later, after you’ve established yourself as my leader and I’ve learned my position in the house. I’ve had a pretty messed up life so I may not be able to receive human love for a long time without getting it all twisted in my head! My owners knew my history. Some of those crazy dogs at the shelter may not even be able to tell you their back stories; all the more reason to make them earn their way into your house. I was given these ‘gifts’ and it only took me 2-3 weeks to display issues. Display. My trainer says that means I was actually feeling it before then. My trainer has trained dogs that showed it in one week! Hey, I guess I’m not the worst! #winning
My trainer said she’s going to show me love by teaching me right from wrong, teaching me how to relax, help me trust strangers, teach me that SHE protects ME, not the other way around! Wow! What a concept! Doesn’t she know I’m a Rottweiler?? I thought that was my job! She said that what feels even better than human love is knowing I have a stable home that I won’t be removed from, I have someone to guide me which allows me to be a calm, relaxed, house dog that has productive ‘dog jobs’ that don’t include being the boss of anything or anyone. Sounds good to me, sign me up!!
Humans, I’m writing you this letter because I don’t want you to ever have to return your dog like I was returned. I want you to know the concept of providing me balance. Please, balance love and affection with rules, structure and boundaries. I really DON’T want the freedom like you think I do. I like it when my trainer tells me what to do so I don’t have to guess or wonder. It relieves my stress. I want you to contact a balanced trainer THE MOMENT you see ANY negative change in your dogs behavior. Without professional help, it will likely get worse. With professional help, you may be able to turn it around and keep another dog out of rescue or the shelter. I want you to know that as dogs, we will take what you give us, we are experts at negotiating for more and if you want your dog to behave differently, you will need to behave differently. Sometimes you may have to hold back what feels good to you (like cuddling, hugging and kissing me) because it’s not the best thing for me at the time.
If you do these things when I first come into your home, you set me up for success. I’m relying on you for my success. I already get a bad rap just because I’m a Rottweiler! I want to make my breed proud! By giving me rules, you will be teaching your kids how to be good dog owners and that gets passed through generations! Balance will also set our whole family up for success! We will be happier and you won’t have to explain to the little humans why all of a sudden I was ‘returned’.
My trainer said it will take at least two weeks with her to get my mind better, get my obedience where it should be and get my confidence up so that I can be a positive addition to my new family. She also said she will be VERY picky about which people get to be lucky enough to have a pretty, well trained Rottweiler like me. She said they will have strict rules, just like I do! Haha! Welcome to my world! It feels good to have someone fighting for me for a change!
My trainer wanted to fine print my letter and say she knows not all dogs start guarding when they come from a shelter. Not all shelter dogs are crazy. There are lots of easy dogs that you can mush on from day one with no repercussions. She said if you get a dog like that, congratulations you hit the doggie jackpot! But if you did get a awesome dog like that, one of your friends or family may not have been so lucky so feel free to share with them! She also said not all insecure dogs will guard, but all the tips I recommended will help insecure dogs feel more confident, sooner than they would with all the mush.
I’ll keep you posted on my training and I'm gonna try and find out this trainer lady's name!
I am asked about this often, twice this week as a matter of fact, which inspired this post...
If you contact me for training because you want to modify your dogs reactive behavior; either to people, other dogs, bicycles, or whatever the trigger may be; either on walks, in your home or wherever you may want to take your dog, BUT you want your dog to still guard your house, backyard, or you, I’m going to tell you to pick which one you want, because you can’t have both.
Again, this is for the average house dog. There are dogs that are highly trained in protection, that live in a house with families. Like K9 officers, etc. But these dogs went through obedience training, were balanced, and then were trained to protect. Key word: BALANCED. Prior to protection training, they are calm, they aren’t nervous or anxious or fearful. They have leadership and wait for their leaders to direct them, never taking things into their own hands (er, paws). THOUSANDS of dollars are invested in them to teach them how to turn on and off, what are threats, what aren’t threats, all while giving them a job, structure and rules in and out of the house. They are confident, working dogs.
When the average house dog is guarding you, its house, front door, or yard, it is actually operating out of a form of weakness, not confidence. In most cases it’s one or more of the following feelings: anxiousness, nervousness, stress, fearfulness, insecurity, and it doubts your leadership. If this is not corrected, over time, you are passively training your dog to be reactive beyond your front door; where you want to be able to take it in public and not be reactive. It doesn’t have the ability to differentiate where it should be reactive and where it shouldn’t. This is why you can’t have both.
IF you had a dog that you could direct to be on guard in the house but cool as a cucumber on your street or at the coffee shop, you would have a $10k to $20k protection trained dog, my friend!
Evaluate what you want in your family dog. If you want a calm dog that you can take out in public, walk calmly down the street and trust, it’s time for some training, state of mind rehab (for dog AND owner), leadership and wait for it….it’s time to PROTECT YOUR DOG.
If you’re a past client of mine, you’ve gotten a text update from me on day one of a board and train showing you what I was able to accomplish in my first training session with your dog. I often see a return text like “that is unbelievable” or “how did you do that already?”
You may follow my posts on Facebook or see my before and after videos showing you how on day five I am able to successfully walk a leash reactive or leash aggressive dog past another dog with no issues and you’ve been struggling for years.
Trust me, it’s not magic. It’s practice. It’s a learned skill. It’s a natural ability. It’s leadership. It’s believability. It’s accountability. It’s energy. It’s assertiveness. It’s confidence. It’s reading the dog. It’s corrections with the right timing. It’s relationship building. It’s trust.
After my rehabilitation of the dog, the owner then has to be successful with those same ingredients. That’s where it’s my job to train the owners. I give you the new house rules for the dog. I teach you tone, leadership, posture, commands and tools. But if you’re naturally a soft energy, you will have to work extra hard for a stronger energy. If you’re nervous to walk your dog because of past experiences, you will have to overcome that nervousness. You will need to learn how to read your dog. You may have to fight urges to give too much affection to your dog. You will need to practice, practice, practice to create new, positive experiences. YOU may have to make as many changes as your dog!
Don’t get me wrong, not all cases have so many layers. You may be doing most of the things I referenced. You may have a lot of house rules for your dog but are still experiencing some behaviors that you know could be better. Sometimes it is a little tweak; a little adjustment to what you’re already doing to address those behaviors. But often, it’s much more than that.
There is no magic in dog training but when you are ready to make personal changes, keep up with your dogs new obedience and be patient while building a new dynamic with your dog so that you and your dog finally believe in each other, that is MAGICAL!
Download this app on your smart phone and start tracking your walk. Every time you walk, they will donate to your favorite shelter or rescue. The more you walk, the more you earn!
How's that for motivation!
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