Preparing Your Dog For Your Baby

mother feeding little child on sofa near morkies

Bringing your firstborn into your dog’s world can be unnerving and potentially dangerous. Learning how to introduce your dog to your new family member takes planning and preparation well advance of that wonderful day when your baby comes home. Below, I’ve outlined some practical steps and advice to help you with preparing your dog to meet your newborn.

Please post your experiences and thoughts about this at the end of this post.

1. Start the preparation process early: You should start preparing your dog for the arrival of your newborn baby at least 3-4 months in advance to give them ample time to adjust to the new changes

2. Schedule a vet check-up: Make sure your dog is healthy and up-to-date with their vaccinations. Discuss any concerns or issues you might have about your dog’s behavior, and consider getting a behavioral evaluation.

3. Train your dog: Start training your dog to behave properly before the baby arrives. Basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it will be very helpful. You can also consider enrolling your dog in a specialized training program that caters to preparing dogs for babies.

4. Introduce new sounds and smells: Start playing recordings of baby noises like crying, cooing, and laughing frequently while you are around your dog. This will help them get used to the new sounds the baby will make. You can also bring home baby items like diapers, lotions, powders, and blankets for your dog to sniff and get familiar with.

5. Adjust your dog’s routine: Gradually reduce the attention you give your dog, and make sure they understand that the new baby will require more of your time and attention.

6. Restrict access: Prepare an area where your dog can stay when you are busy attending to the baby. It could be a crate, a room or a designated area with a comfortable bed and chew toys.

7. Prepare for baby’s arrival: Start setting up the baby’s furniture and getting everything ready in the nursery (if applicable) at least a month before the due date so your dog has time to get used to the new changes in the house.

8. Introduce gradually: Introduce your dog to the baby gradually. Allow your dog to sniff the baby while being held and petted, and reward your dog with treats for good behavior.

9. Maintain routines & boundaries: Make sure you continue to maintain routines and boundaries for your dog even after the baby arrives to give them a sense of security and stability.

10. Supervision: Never leave your dog alone with your baby under any circumstances, always ensure there is proper supervision when your dog is around the baby.

There’s a lot of help available for you in this endeavor.

Tell your dog you’re pregnant” by Lewis Kirkham…/…/

Choosing the Perfect Emotional Support Animal in California

Living with a disability that affects cognitive or physical abilities can be challenging. However, for many individuals, the companionship of an animal can bring numerous benefits, including reducing isolation and providing comfort. Emotional support animals (ESAs) have shown to be particularly helpful for individuals with mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, PTSD, depression, and anxiety[^1^].

If you’re considering getting an emotional support animal in California, it’s important to understand the process of choosing the right one for you. While any type of pet can technically be an ESA, cats and dogs are the most preferred choices. However, seeking professional advice is crucial to help you make an informed decision[^1^].

Registering an Emotional Support Animal

To ensure that your emotional support animal is recognized and protected under the law, it’s essential to go through the process of registering your ESA. Start by seeking the service of a licensed therapist who can evaluate your mental health condition and determine if an emotional support animal is necessary for improving your quality of life[^1^].

Once approved, you will receive an ESA certification, which is valid for one year. It’s important to renew your certification to ensure its continued effectiveness. With an ESA license, you can enjoy certain privileges such as being accommodated in the aircraft’s air cabin without additional fees and living in apartments with a “no pets” policy. However, regardless of the animal you choose, it’s crucial to ensure they are properly trained to behave in public, especially if you plan to travel with them[^1^].

“An ESA can provide the support and companionship needed to effectively manage the symptoms of your mental health condition.” [^1^]

Disabilities that may require an Emotional Support Dog

While emotional support dogs can provide valuable support and companionship, it’s important to note that they are not considered service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)[^1^]. However, for individuals with anxiety, PTSD, or severe panic attacks, having a companion dog can bring immense relief. A licensed healthcare expert can evaluate your disability and determine if an emotional support dog is the best fit for your specific symptoms[^1^].

It’s worth mentioning that service dogs have greater access rights compared to emotional support dogs. Service dogs are allowed in places where emotional support dogs are not, including grocery stores and restaurants. Understanding the distinction is important when considering the role of an emotional support dog in your life[^1^].

“An emotional support dog can provide valuable support and companionship for individuals with anxiety, PTSD, or severe panic attacks.” [^1^]

Important Considerations When Choosing an Emotional Support Animal

When selecting an emotional support animal, it’s crucial to consider various factors, including the animal’s traits, your family’s needs, and budgetary considerations. Not every animal is suitable for everyone, so it’s essential to choose one that aligns with your specific requirements and lifestyle[^2^].


Before selecting an emotional support animal, consider whether anyone in your family, especially children, may have allergies. It’s advisable to spend time with your potential ESA and observe if there are any allergic reactions. Additionally, you may want to explore hypoallergenic options to minimize the risk of allergies[^2^].

image by Pexels

A Friendly and Reliable Companion

An emotional support animal should be friendly and reliable, not only to you but also to strangers, family, and friends. It’s important to ensure that the animal behaves appropriately in public places. If you experience panic attacks or anxiety, your companion animal should remain calm and provide comfort during distressing situations. It’s crucial to select an animal that can handle stress well[^2^].

Budgetary Considerations

Owning a pet, including an emotional support animal, comes with financial responsibilities. Dogs, in particular, require various supplies such as training equipment, toys, and food. It’s important to evaluate your budget and determine how much you can comfortably spend on your ESA on a weekly and monthly basis. Additionally, consider other costs such as pet health certificates and obtaining an official ESA letter[^2^].

Factor in Your Needs

Before bringing an emotional support animal into your life, assess your family’s needs. If you have young children, it’s essential to choose an animal that is compatible with them. Some dog breeds may not be suitable for families with small children due to their temperament. Additionally, consider your own lifestyle and activity level to ensure that the animal you choose can adapt to your needs[^2^].

“Choosing the right emotional support animal involves considering factors such as allergies, the animal’s behavior, budgetary considerations, and your family’s specific needs.” [^2^]

Top 10 Emotional Support Dog Breeds

While any dog breed can potentially serve as an emotional support animal, some breeds are particularly well-suited for the role. Here are ten dog breeds that are known for their suitability as emotional support animals:

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are gentle and highly trainable. They are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, making them excellent companions for individuals with various mental health conditions. Labradors are also great with children, making them a popular choice for families[^2^].

2. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are small lap dogs that don’t require much space or exercise. They are affectionate and love physical contact, making them ideal for individuals who crave close companionship. Yorkies are well-suited for apartment living[^2^].

3. Beagle

Beagles are known for their lovable nature and versatility. They can be both active and energetic or calm and cuddly, depending on the situation. Beagles are adaptable and can provide support to individuals with various mental health conditions[^2^].

4. Corgi

Corgis may be small in stature, but they make up for it with their stable and loyal personalities. Their even-tempered nature and loyalty to their owners make them excellent emotional support animals. Plus, their adorable fluffy butts are an added bonus![^2^]

5. Pug

Pugs are not only adorable but also great at tuning into their owners’ emotions. They have a knack for sensing moods and can lift spirits with their cheeky behavior. However, it’s important to note that some airlines have restrictions on flying with pugs due to their short-nosed breed classification[^2^].

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

With their floppy ears and gentle demeanor, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are hard to resist. They are mellow, quiet, and low-energy dogs, making them suitable for individuals with depression or limited activity levels[^2^].

7. Pomeranian

Pomeranians are known for their fluffy coats and their love for being close to their owners. They make excellent lap dogs and provide constant attention and affection. Pomeranians are ideal for those seeking a loyal and loving companion[^2^].

8. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are loyal and energetic dogs that require a moderate to high amount of exercise. They are highly trainable and can adapt well to various situations. However, it’s important to ensure that you can provide them with the necessary activity and stimulation they need[^2^].

9. Poodle

Poodles are highly intelligent and easily trainable, making them an excellent choice for individuals who want a well-behaved emotional support animal. Their trainability can also make traveling with them less stressful compared to more disobedient breeds[^2^].

10. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas may be small, but they have a big personality and a strong bond with their owners. They thrive on close human contact and can provide constant love and support. However, they may not be the best choice for families with children or those who prefer a quieter breed[^2^].

“While any dog breed can potentially be an emotional support animal, Labrador Retrievers, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, Corgis, Pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pomeranians, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, and Chihuahuas are particularly well-suited for the role.”[^2^]


Choosing the perfect emotional support animal is a personal decision that requires careful consideration. Whether you opt for a Labrador Retriever, Yorkshire Terrier, Beagle, Corgi, Pug, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pomeranian, Golden Retriever, Poodle, or Chihuahua, your ESA can provide invaluable support and companionship. Remember to consult with a licensed therapist to ensure that you meet the necessary requirements for an emotional support animal and enjoy the benefits they offer for your mental health and well-being.

“Selecting the right emotional support animal is a significant decision that can greatly enhance the well-being and quality of life for individuals with mental health conditions.”[^2^]

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of choosing an emotional support animal in California, take the next step in improving your mental health and well-being by finding the perfect companion to embark on this journey with you. Reach out to a licensed therapist or healthcare professional to start the process of registering your emotional support animal and enjoy the many benefits they can bring to your life.

To learn more about emotional support animals and the process of selecting the right one, visit the websites mentioned below:

Remember, your emotional support animal can become a source of constant support, love, and comfort, providing you with the companionship you need to navigate life’s challenges. Take the first step towards a happier and healthier life with your new emotional support animal today!

Achieving An Amazing Walk

Find out the 4 Keys to changing your on-leash walk in as little as 10-20 minutes.

No yanking, yelling, or having your arms pulled out of socket. Get these four steps down and you will see an amazing transformation in a very short time!

The Keys

  1. Be the trusted leader. This doesn’t mean dominating, or anything mean or aggressive. In fact, it’s the loving way to raise your pup. You provide food, shelter, play, and love. And, you teach wanted behaviors. I call it “foundational work”. It’s done daily. By everyone. Forever. It’s an amazing technique that creates a calm, obedient dog. Annoying, worrisome behaviors fade away and future problems are avoided. Contact me to learn more.
  2. Choose the RIGHT equipment. Your dogs’ regular, flat collar is important and should be worn anytime you aren’t out for a walk. And no other harness works like a front-lead harness. No stress to your pets’ neck. No harness actually encouraging pulling, and no stress, strain, or damage to the neck caused by jerking your buddy’s head around. Buy the best; one that is simple, doesn’t have heavy, and hot, metal loops/buckles, and is AMERICAN-MADE.
The ONLY harness you should buy!

3. Training: Start the Walk Right! A successful walk starts the moment you pick up that leash. Most of us think we should get our furry friend excited about going out but that is exactly the opposite of what we need to do. Our job is to keep our dog as calm as possible. You may have to use a technique such as “stop-start-change of direction“, or you may even have to cancel the walk momentarily. Your dog only goes outside when you have asked him to go through the door. Have her wait by the door, inside, before going out. No, it’s not about dominance! It’s giving her another chance to relax before she gets overwhelmed with all of the wonderful things waiting for her outside.

Image by Gerson Rodriguez from Pixabay

4. The Two-Part Deal: the “social” walk and the “structured” walk. Your walk must be enjoyable for both of you. It’s an agreement between human and dog, and it’s simply this: “you walk nicely when I want, and I’ll give you free time to check out all of the wonderful scents, sights, and sounds that interest you.” It looks like this; Rover walks nicely at your side for 10 feet, or two blocks, it doesn’t matter. After that, you give Rover a release cue like, “sniff away!” and give Rover a bit of time to find out what’s been going on in the neighborhood. As with teaching all new behaviors, you’ll achieve the best results when you go slow, reward often, and always finish with a win!

Having enjoyable walks are not only possible; they are absolutely within your reach!

If you’d like help with your journey, you can book an appointment or give me a call right now.

The Essential Guide to Raising Your Puppy

Puppy Essentials

Important Things to Know and Do Before Bringing Home a Puppy (3 Months Old or Younger)

This post will take you through the most essential information you need to know, once you decide on bringing home a puppy. Its’ goal is for you to be fully prepared with all the facts you need to know, so that you can succeed in raising your puppy and training your puppy properly.

  1. Research and Prepare:
    • Learn about the breed or mix to understand their specific needs, temperament, and potential health issues.
    • Puppy-proof your home by removing hazards, toxic substances, and fragile items that the puppy could reach.
  2. Find a Reputable Breeder or Rescue:
    • If getting a puppy from a breeder, ensure they prioritize health, temperament, and socialization.
    • If adopting from a rescue, inquire about the puppy’s background, health history, and behavior.
  3. Health and Vaccinations:
    • Schedule a veterinarian appointment for a thorough health check-up and vaccinations.
    • Discuss a deworming schedule and preventive measures for fleas, ticks, and heartworms.
  4. Proper Nutrition and Feeding:
    • Choose a high-quality puppy food recommended by your veterinarian.
    • Establish a feeding schedule and portion sizes appropriate for the puppy’s age and breed.
  5. Establish a Routine:
    • Set a consistent daily schedule for feeding, potty breaks, exercise, playtime, and rest.
    • Puppies thrive on routine, and it helps with their training and overall well-being.
  6. Potty Training:
    • Set up a designated elimination area outdoors and consistently take the puppy there after meals, naps, and play sessions.
    • Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, when the puppy eliminates in the appropriate area.
  7. Socialization:
    • Expose the puppy to a variety of people, animals, sounds, and environments to promote confidence and prevent fear or aggression.
    • Enroll in a well-managed puppy socialization class to provide controlled interactions with other puppies.
  8. Bite Inhibition and Gentle Play:
    • Teach the puppy to have a soft mouth by redirecting and rewarding gentle play and discouraging biting or nipping.
    • Provide appropriate chew toys to satisfy the puppy’s natural urge to chew and alleviate teething discomfort.
  9. Basic Obedience Training:
    • Teach basic commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it using positive reinforcement methods.
    • Keep training sessions short, fun, and consistent to maintain the puppy’s interest and progress.
  10. Exercise and Mental Stimulation:
    • Provide regular exercise appropriate for the puppy’s age and breed to prevent behavioral problems caused by excess energy.
    • Engage in interactive play and provide puzzle toys to mentally stimulate the puppy and prevent boredom.

Week by Week Checklist For Training Your Puppy

Week 1:

  • Start potty training and establish a consistent routine.
  • Begin crate training for short periods, gradually increasing duration.
  • Introduce the puppy to a collar and leash for short, positive experiences.

Week 2:

  • Continue potty training and reinforce good elimination habits.
  • Teach the puppy their name and respond to basic commands like “sit” and “come” using treats and praise.
  • Begin socialization by introducing the puppy to different people, gentle dogs, and novel environments.

Week 3:

  • Expand potty training to include specific cues or command words.
  • Work on loose leash walking in a low-distraction environment.
  • Practice basic obedience commands with increasing consistency and fading lure rewards.

Week 4:

  • Reinforce potty training and continue expanding the puppy’s elimination cues.
  • Gradually increase the duration of crate training and reinforce positive associations.
  • Expose the puppy to various sights, sounds, and surfaces to build confidence.

Week 5:

  • Introduce basic impulse control exercises, such as “leave it” and “wait.”
  • Begin supervised playdates with well-mannered dogs to enhance social skills.
  • Continue reinforcing potty training and general obedience commands.

Week 6:

  • Strengthen potty training by reducing accidents and increasing outside successes.
  • Practice recall exercises in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Encourage appropriate chewing behavior by providing a variety of chew toys.

Week 7:

  • Further develop loose leash walking skills in different environments.
  • Continue socialization efforts with new people, animals, and environments.
  • Attend puppy classes or training sessions for structured learning and socialization.

Week 8:

  • Refine basic obedience commands and work on reliability.
  • Expose the puppy to common household stimuli, such as vacuum cleaners and doorbells.
  • Gradually introduce grooming activities, such as brushing and nail trimming.

Week 9:

  • Solidify potty training and establish a consistent elimination routine.
  • Focus on reinforcing polite greetings and discourage jumping on people.
  • Continue socialization efforts with an emphasis on positive experiences.

Week 10:

  • Gradually transition from puppy food to an appropriate adult dog diet.
  • Work on duration and distance for obedience commands.
  • Introduce the concept of settling on a mat or in a designated area.

Week 11:

  • Practice polite behaviors, like sitting for attention and waiting at doors.
  • Continue exposing the puppy to a variety of people, animals, and environments.
  • Discuss future training goals and long-term care with a professional trainer.

Important Warnings, Cautions, and Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Avoid Overwhelming the Puppy:
    • Limit exposure to stressful or overwhelming situations, especially during the early socialization period.
    • Gradually introduce new experiences and environments to prevent fear or anxiety.
  2. Be Cautious with Handling and Restraint:
    • Handle the puppy gently and positively to build trust and prevent fear-based behaviors.
    • Avoid rough play or excessive restraint, as it can lead to fear or aggression.
  3. Watch for Signs of Stress or Discomfort:
    • Learn to recognize stress signals in dogs, such as panting, lip licking, yawning, or avoidance behaviors.
    • If the puppy shows signs of stress, provide a calm environment and adjust the intensity of the situation.
  4. Avoid Punishment-Based Training Methods:
    • Positive reinforcement is the most effective and humane way to train a puppy.
    • Avoid physical punishment, yelling, or any training techniques that cause fear or harm.
  5. Be Wary of Inadequate Socialization:
    • Insufficient socialization can lead to fear, anxiety, and behavior problems later in life.
    • Expose the puppy to a variety of people, animals, and environments in a positive and controlled manner.
  6. Beware of Inconsistent Rules and Boundaries:
    • Inconsistent expectations confuse the puppy and hinder training progress.
    • Establish clear rules and boundaries and ensure all family members are consistent in enforcing them.
  7. Watch for Signs of Illness or Health Issues:
    • Monitor the puppy’s appetite, energy levels, coat condition, and bathroom habits.
    • Seek veterinary attention promptly if you notice any abnormal behaviors or signs of illness.
  8. Avoid Overfeeding and Improper Nutrition:
    • Follow the veterinarian’s recommendations for feeding portions and choose a high-quality puppy food.
    • Overfeeding can lead to obesity and related health issues.
  9. Be Cautious with Introductions to Other Animals:
    • Introduce the puppy to other animals gradually and under controlled circumstances.
    • Watch for signs of aggression or fear and intervene if necessary.
  10. Avoid Skipping Basic Training and Socialization:
    • Early training and socialization are crucial for a well-adjusted adult dog.
    • Skipping these essential steps can lead to behavioral issues down the line.

So now you have a better understanding of what you need to do and what you can do to make your relationship with your puppy a successful one. Remember, the most important thing is time. The more time you spend with them now the easier it will be down the road for everyone. So enjoy every moment because they grow up so fast!

The Benefits of Hiring a Great Dog Trainer Over Just a Good One

What Separates a Good Dog Trainer from a Great Dog Trainer?

When it comes to training your furry friend, you want to make sure you’re investing in the best possible trainer. While there are plenty of good trainers out there, what sets the great ones apart? In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between a good dog trainer and a great dog trainer, highlighting some of the most well-known trainers in the industry, including Doggy Dan, Ian Dunbar, Will Atherton, and others.

The Importance of Pack Leadership and a Calm Demeanor

One of the key differences between a good trainer and a great trainer is their ability to establish pack leadership and maintain a calm demeanor. Great trainers understand the importance of being a strong and confident leader, as dogs are pack animals that naturally look to their leader for guidance and direction.

Doggy Dan, for example, emphasizes the importance of establishing pack leadership through a calm and assertive approach. Similarly, Ian Dunbar, a veterinarian and dog trainer, believes that dogs thrive under strong, fair leadership and advocates for positive reinforcement training methods. Will Atherton is known for his calm and gentle approach, which he believes is essential for building trust and respect with dogs.

Qualities of a Great Dog Trainer

Aside from pack leadership and a calm demeanor, great trainers possess a range of other qualities that set them apart from the rest. For example, they must be able to read and interpret a dog’s body language and communication, allowing them to understand the dog’s needs and respond appropriately. They also need to be patient, adaptable, and able to tailor their training methods to suit each individual dog’s personality and learning style.

Experience isn’t Everything

While experience is certainly valuable, it isn’t always an indicator of how good or poor a trainer is. A trainer with years of experience may still lack the necessary skills and qualities to be a great trainer, while a relatively new trainer may have a natural talent and connection with dogs that make them exceptional.

What to Look for in a Great Trainer

When looking for a great dog trainer, there are a few things to keep in mind. Look for trainers who prioritize positive reinforcement training methods, are knowledgeable about canine behavior, and have a calm and patient demeanor. You should also check their credentials and certifications, as well as read reviews and ask for recommendations.

Why Paying More May Be the Best Value

While it may be tempting to opt for a cheaper trainer, paying more for a great trainer is ultimately the best value. A great trainer will help you achieve faster and more effective results, saving you time, money, and stress in the long run.

In summary, a great dog trainer possesses qualities such as pack leadership, a calm demeanor, and the ability to read and interpret canine body language. While experience is important, it isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a trainer. When looking for a great trainer, prioritize positive reinforcement methods, check their credentials and certifications, and be willing to invest in their expertise for the best results.

Patience Pays Off: The Importance and Benefits of Teaching Your Dog to Wait

Teaching your dog to “wait” is an invaluable skill that can help create a calm, well-behaved dog. Unlike “stay,” which is a command that tells your dog to remain in one position, “wait” is a command that tells your dog to pause and wait for further instruction.

One of the most common situations where you might use the “wait” command is when you’re about to open a door or gate. By teaching your dog to “wait,” you can prevent them from bolting out the door or gate and potentially getting lost or injured. Instead, your dog will learn to wait patiently until you give them the signal to proceed.

Another situation where the “wait” command can be useful is when you’re feeding your dog. By teaching your dog to wait before they start eating, you can help prevent them from becoming too excited and potentially choking on their food. This also teaches your dog impulse control, which can be helpful in other areas of their life.

Teaching your dog to “wait” can also help create a calmer dog overall. When your dog understands that they need to wait for your instruction before doing something, they will be less likely to become anxious or overexcited. This can help prevent problem behaviors like jumping, barking, or digging.

It’s important to note that “wait” and “stay” are not the same commands. “Stay” is a command that tells your dog to remain in one position until you release them. “Wait,” on the other hand, is a command that tells your dog to pause and wait for further instruction. For example, you might use the “stay” command when you want your dog to remain in one spot while you go to the store. But you might use the “wait” command when you’re about to cross a busy street and need your dog to pause until it’s safe to proceed.

To teach your dog to “wait,” start by having them sit or lie down in front of you. Then, hold up your hand like a stop sign and say “wait.” If your dog tries to move, gently block them with your hand and repeat the command. Once your dog has waited for a few seconds, reward them with a treat or praise. Repeat this process several times, gradually increasing the amount of time your dog needs to wait before being rewarded.

In conclusion, teaching your dog to “wait” is a valuable skill that can help create a calmer, more well-behaved dog. By using the “wait” command in situations where you need your dog to pause and wait for further instruction, you can prevent problem behaviors and promote impulse control. And by teaching your dog this skill, you can build a stronger bond and better communication with your furry friend.

The Best Dog Training Techniques To Stop Excessive Barking

How to Handle Excessive Barking with Gentle Methods

What’s the Problem?

Excessive barking is a common problem among dog owners. It can be caused by many factors, including boredom, anxiety, fear, or even pain. In most cases, excessive barking can be managed with proper training and understanding of the dog’s needs. The goal of such training is to teach the dog when it is appropriate to bark and when it should remain quiet. With patience and consistency, owners can help their dogs learn how to control their barking in order to prevent any disruptions or annoyances for both themselves and their neighbors.

Say “Thank You”

If you want to train your dog to bark less, it’s important to start with a low energy approach. I present to you two options. The first is the “Thank you” or “Make Nothing of it” method presented by Dan Abdelnoor (Doggy Dan).

This 3-step method is designed to help you achieve that. First, when your dog barks, simply say “thank you” in a calm voice. This will help your dog understand that barking is not the desired behavior. At the second set of barks, get up and take a look at what your dog is barking at. Once again, say “thank you” in a calm voice and then turn your back and walk away. If there is a 3rd set of barks then it’s time to isolate your dog for a few minutes. With patience and consistency, this 3-step method can help reduce excessive barking and make it easier for both of you to enjoy peaceful moments together.

Saying a simple “thank you” to your dog can go a long way in calming them down and showing them that you recognize their concern. This approach is often more effective than a high-energy response, as it helps to keep the situation low-key and prevents any further escalation.

Not only does saying “thank you” help to show your dog that their efforts are appreciated, but it also serves as an important reminder to stay calm in the face of challenging situations. By recognizing your dog’s concern and responding with gratitude, you can help them feel more secure and comfortable when they are feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

Using “Doggish”

The second method comes from Stanley Coren’s “How to Speak Dog”. First, move to your dog’s side, in a kneeling position. Place your left hand under the collar, at the back of the dog’s neck and pull gently upward. Fold your right hand over the top of the dog’s muzzle and press down. In a quiet, business-like, unemotional tone, you simply say “quiet”. Repeat as necessary. Depending on the breed, it may take anywhere from two to a couple of dozen repetitions to associate the cue “quiet” with an end to barking.


It is clear that excessive barking can be a nuisance, but with patience and consistency, it can be managed. Doggy Dan’s online dog training course provides owners with the tools they need to teach their dogs how to bark less and stay calm. Meanwhile, Stanley Coren’s book provides an in-depth look at how dogs learn and how owners can use this knowledge to train their dogs effectively. With the right guidance, patience and consistency, any dog owner can help their pet become a calmer and more obedient companion.

Should You Use Punishment for Dog Training?

close up photo of dog wearing sunglasses

Dog training is a critical part of being a responsible dog owner. But how should you go about it? Is punishment an appropriate method of getting your pup to behave the way you want them to? This is an ongoing debate between those who believe in positive reinforcement only and those who are willing to use punishment as needed. Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.

The Argument for Positive Reinforcement Only

Zak George, among other dog trainers, has pushed for positive reinforcement-only methods for training dogs. His argument is that punishment techniques can be harmful to your pooch’s health and wellbeing. In fact, he claims that research confirms this claim. According to him, using rewards such as treats or praise instead of punishments will make your pup more likely to respond positively and build trust with you faster than punishing them would.

The Argument Against Positive Reinforcement Only

On the other hand, there are those who argue that we can’t definitively say that punishment is harmful based on current research. They cite studies which have shown no lasting harm resulting from punishment used in conjunction with positive reinforcement. They also point out that no matter what kind of training method you use, it’s important to never use physical force when disciplining your dog—that includes hitting or yelling at them. The goal is always to help your pup understand what they did wrong without causing any long-term damage or trauma to them.


At the end of the day, both sides have valid points when it comes to whether or not you should use punishment for dog training. If you’re still unsure about which approach is best for you and your pup, speak to a qualified trainer who can help guide you in the right direction depending on your individual needs and situation. Regardless of which route you choose, remember that patience and consistency are key when it comes to successful dog training—and don’t forget those treats!

My Dog is Smarter Than Yours!


Most people think that dogs are dumb and uninteresting, but they’re wrong. Dogs may not be able to pass the SAT or learn Spanish, but they have some amazing abilities that can really impress you. These include the fact that they can read your facial expressions and predict when their favorite people will come home. In addition to having a few tricks up their sleeves, dogs are also capable of learning commands quickly and obeying them on demand—and this isn’t just some silly trick for entertainment purposes! It turns out there’s more going on in Fido’s head than we ever realized before: there’s actually science behind why these furry friends seem so smart sometimes (and other times less so).

Pups’ intelligence levels can vary widely.

Intelligence is a spectrum. The more intelligent a dog is, the better he or she can learn–and it’s not just about obedience. Intelligence also determines how well your pup will react in unfamiliar situations, whether he or she can follow directions when distracted by other stimuli and whether or not you have to be constantly repeating yourself over time (or risk losing your patience).

There are countless ways that dogs show their intelligence–they’re all unique individuals with their own personalities! Some dogs may be more motivated than others; some might take longer than others to learn new tricks; but all of them have one thing in common: they want to please us more than anything else on earth.

A dog’s breed can affect its brainpower.

It’s no secret that dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big, some are small; some have long hair while others sport shiny coats. But what you may not know is that the breed of a dog can also have an effect on its intelligence and trainability.

The smartest dog breeds are often determined by how well they can perform in certain tests, such as intelligence and agility. However, there’s more to a dog’s intelligence than just these physical qualities–there’s also the emotional component that plays into it as well! The smartest dogs are those who excel at problem-solving or have high levels of cognition and self-awareness.

There’s no such thing as dumb dogs, but there are breeds that tend to be smarter than others

Dogs are smart. They’re trainable, but they don’t all learn in the same way. Some breeds are more intelligent than others, while some are more trainable. And even within a breed there can be individual differences in intelligence and temperament that affect how well your dog learns new tricks or obeys commands from you (or anyone else).

Dog breeds differ widely in their ability to learn new things–and this includes tricks! Some dogs take easily to learning tricks like “sit” or “roll over,” while others need lots of patient repetition before they understand what you’re asking them to do. And if your dog is stubborn about learning new things? Don’t worry: That doesn’t mean she’s dumb; it just means she needs some extra encouragement along the way!

You might be able to build a stronger bond with a smart dog.

If you’re looking to build a stronger bond with your dog, a smart one may be the way to go. Research has shown that dogs with a high intelligence level are more likely to bond with their owners. In fact, some breeds are so intelligent that they can communicate with humans via body language and other methods.

A study by Stanley Coren showed that there was no correlation between breed size and intelligence; however, there was an inverse relationship between brain size (as measured by skull capacity) and intelligence within each breed group studied (i.e., larger brains were associated with lower intelligence).

How Do We Measure How Smart a Dog Is?

When it comes to the smartest breeds of dogs, there are several factors that go into measuring how smart a dog is. These include:

  • -The ability to learn and understand new things quickly
  • -How well it can follow directions
  • -The ability to solve problems on its own
  • -The amount of time it takes for them to get bored with a toy or activity

So let’s take a look at some of the smartest breeds out there and find out why they’re so smart!

The Smartest Breeds

1. Border Collie – This breed is known for being extremely intelligent and loyal to their owners. They also thrive on working with humans and can be trained to do almost anything, making them great working dogs as well as pets!

2. Poodle – These pups are known for being extremely intelligent but also somewhat difficult to train because they’re so independent-minded! These guys are great at learning tricks, especially if they have something motivating them like food or playtime—but they also make good family pets because they’re very playful!

3. German Shepherd – This breed excels at obedience training but also loves to be around people and make friends with other dogs. They’re incredibly affectionate but also protective, making them an excellent choice for families who want both a guard dog and an active companion!

3. Golden Retriever – Not only are these pups smart, they’re also incredibly friendly! Their sweet personalities make them a great fit for families with children or anyone who wants to spend lots of time playing with their pet every day!

5.  Doberman Pinschers are some of the smartest dogs in the world. In fact, they’re the 5th smartest dog breed for obedience & working intelligence. But even so, what makes them truly smart is their ability to gauge perceived threats in nearly any situation and environment. It’s why they’re the premiere guard dogs.

6. Labrador Retriever – The Lab is certainly a smart dog breed, but they are also gentle, courageous and easy to raise. They’re excellent family dogs and great around kids. Needless to say, Labs are the perfect companion dogs. No guessing why this “Jack of All Trades” has been an American favorite for decades.

**Note: I didn’t list the Shetland Sheepdog in the 6th position because it’s basically a small Collie who are great herders and amazing at showing off all of the great tricks they can do.


I should mention that thePapillons belongs near the top of that list, and I bet you have your own thoughts as well about which breed is the smartest. Let me know in the replies, below. In the meantime, remember this, the next time someone tries to tell you that their dog is smarter than yours, don’t get upset. Instead, tell them about all the amazing things your pup can do and how much he loves to learn!

What Makes Whistle Training So Effective?

Why Does it Work?

Whistle training for dogs is effective because it uses a high-pitched sound that can be heard from a distance, which allows the dog to be trained to respond to the sound even when they are far away from the trainer. Additionally, dogs do not associate whistles with positive or negative reinforcement, meaning that the sound does not have any prior emotional connotation for the dog, making it a neutral and consistent signal. This allows the dog to focus on the sound itself, rather than any other distractions or emotions. Furthermore, whistle training can be done in a variety of environments, making it a versatile and practical training method.

Why Use Positive Reinforcement With Whistle Training?

Positive reinforcement with whistle training for dogs works by using a whistle to signal to the dog that they have performed a desired behavior correctly. The dog is then immediately rewarded with a treat, praise, or a positive interaction, such as a game or affection. This type of training uses the principle of operant conditioning, where the dog learns that a specific behavior results in a positive outcome, making them more likely to repeat that behavior in the future.

How To Start

The process of whistle training typically starts with basic obedience commands, such as sit and stay. The trainer will blow the whistle and give the command, and when the dog performs the behavior correctly, they will immediately be rewarded with a treat or praise. As the dog becomes more familiar with the whistle and the commands, the trainer can gradually decrease the frequency of rewards and increase the complexity of the behaviors being trained.

Training is done without your dog being on a lead. Begin by being only a foot away. Blow the whistle and offer a treat. Increase the distance as long as your dog responds correctly. If not, shorten the distance. Vary your rewards and make sure your dog has the best chance to succeed. End on a positive result and repeat as often as possible, daily if you can. These sessions don’t need to last more than a few minutes.

Release your dog after rewarding. That means you should never place a lead on her or take her away from roaming about. You want the experience to always be positive. The goal is to have your dog check in with you.


Overall, positive reinforcement with whistle training is an effective and humane way to train dogs as it utilizes rewards and positive interactions to shape the dog’s behavior and build a strong bond between the dog and the trainer.