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Calming Your Hyperactive Dog

Calming Your Hyperactive Dog

I don’t usually give prescriptions to “fix” a dog’s behavior because every dog is an individual and therefore should be treated as one. In addition, each and every moment is unique and may call for a different protocol. To this end, I ask that you ALWAYS use your gut feeling and intuition to do what is right for your dog in each present moment, no matter what I or anyone else has advised you. With that being said, I’ve come up with some guidelines, or let’s call them suggestions, for calming a hyperactive or anxious dog. 1. Reduce the amount...


Safety First

Safety First

Many of my clients are concerned that if they don’t train their dog to be obedient, he might become the “boss” of the household. They fear nipping will turn into aggression. They worry their dog is going to get out of control, display bad manners, or become unmanageable. On the other hand, my biggest concern is always this: does this dog feel safe? Does this dog trust his handler? Is the dog able to express natural behaviors without being punished or reprimanded? A dog who feels secure can develop a deep attachment with his owner, and therefore naturally becomes obedient. Without...


Follow the Trigger

Leah Twitchell

Follow the Trigger

If there is something about your dog's behavior that is triggering you, look at it as is a great opportunity to look within. Because "where there's a trigger, there's trauma." (Thank you, Phil Good). You may ask yourself, "What part of me feels: unsafe/anxious/fearful/angry when my dog displays this behavior?" And then, "How can I show that part of myself: love, compassion, understanding, and patience?" It's a process of clearing old patterns. If you can then simply hold space for your dog (in a non-reactive state) when he or she displays this behavior, you've cleared a path of healing for...


Top Four Traits of a Great Dog Trainer

Top Four Traits of a Great Dog Trainer

Calm: Gives you mental fortitude.  If you are not calm, you can’t learn, and training is as much, if not more, founded in learning about your dog as it is teaching him anything. Calmness creates space for observation. Your calmness also helps your dog feel safe.   Neutral: Unattached to outcomes. If you remain emotionally neutral, you can remain present with what’s happening right here, right now. Observe your dog and ask yourself questions. Asking questions is a great way to to train yourself to be responsive to the dog. Just think: if I want my dog to respond to me, I...


Commands vs. Labels: How to Speak So Your Dog Will Listen

Leah Twitchell

Commands vs. Labels: How to Speak So Your Dog Will Listen

Photo by Reed Shepherd on Unsplash Commands vs. Labels It's a natural thing that people do: they start giving their dog a "command" before the dog knows what the command means. Some dogs are quick learners and they pick it up right away. The problem is that I see many people point at their dog (why?!) and say "SIT!" about 20 times when the dog has NO idea what "sit" even means. The more you say a word while the dog is just confused, the less meaning the word has. It's like those Peanuts cartoons when the teacher is talking and it's just...