Posts Tagged ‘leash training’

Following My Own Dog Training Tips?

March 23, 2013

Pull No More dog harness

My dogs are great, but not perfect. At home, they are the best most well behaved dogs. I don’t have to worry about them getting on the furniture, getting into the trash, chewing up my things, or stealing food from the table or counters. Even when I am not home I know I can trust them. But out in public, it’s like they are suddenly possessed. And I know it is mostly my own fault. Why is it that I can train dogs so perfectly at home, but still fall so short? I think I know the answers, but it is just a matter of implementing the following dog training tips:

Frequent and Consistent Dog Training
I have gotten really lazy this winter. I’d rather play with my dogs indoors or put on a jacket to play with them a few minutes outdoors than take them for a walk in the cold weather. This means any gains I have made by the end of fall with leash training are forgotten and I have to practically start all over again in the spring.

Socialization as an Ongoing Process
This same logic about frequency and consistency applies to how my dogs behave around other dogs. Since they haven’t been around other dogs much this winter, their behavior has gotten out of control again. In the fall, I took Pierson downtown once a week so I could help Dogtoberfest sell calendars to raise money for the Lawrence Humane Society. This was outdoors so we saw a lot of people and quite a few dogs. Pierson was naughty at times, but by the final week he was doing great. When winter came, I didn’t keep it up. Now, on those rare times in the winter when we do go for a walk, he goes absolutely nuts when he sees another dog. Maya does it too, although her reason is because she is so excited, not because she is being aggressive. If I had been exposing Maya and Pierson to other dogs more often over winter, would they be acting this way? Probably not.

Pierson's Real Dog Training Tips

My dog Pierson talks about how dog training really works. (Pin me!)

Don’t Let the Dogs Train Me
I just realized that Pierson has me trained. I don’t like my dogs to disturb my neighbors so if they start barking when they are outside, I make them come back inside. Yesterday, Pierson decided to start barking. It sounded like he was barking at something, generally at the squirrel that lives next door or at a person walking by the house. But when I went to go get him, he was sitting by the back door. Booger. He was barking at me to let him in!

This is an at home example, but does it apply to public situations too? Did I somehow train the dogs to pull on the leash when we go for a walk? If the dogs pull me on a walk, I stop and wait for them to stop pulling before moving on. That is how I am supposed to do it, anyway. But half the time, I don’t want to have to stop. After all, the walking is an exercise for me too. I want to get my heart rate up for cardio and so I can warm up in the cold weather, but I can’t do that if I have to stop every time Maya or Pierson pulls on the leash. I am just going to have to decide which is more important – leash training or cardio exercise. (If I stick with the dog training, eventually I can have it both ways.)

So there you have it. I am great at giving advice on how to train dogs, but not very good at taking my own advice. I know what to do, but have gotten lazy about doing it. And now I am paying the price. Winter is almost over so no more excuses. It’s time to get off my behind and put my words into practice!

What about you? Do your dogs have behavior problems that you know certain dog training tips can fix, but you just haven’t done them yet? I’m sure I’m not the only one so fess up! đŸ˜‰

My dog Maya as an angel and devil

I should change this to read, Angel at Home; Devil in Public. (Pin me!)

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Happy Birthday Maya Papaya!!!

August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to Maya! She’s wearing a birthday bow from Bow Wow Wow Gifts.

Maya is 5 y ears old today! It was in November of 2007 when I first brought her home, though. I got her from a family who had adopted her just a week before. In fact, I still have her adoption records that name her Dixie. Since Maya was only three months old and had only been called Dixie for a week, I changed her name to Maya. Maya is a better fit, don’t you think?

So if Maya was adopted by someone else, why did they only keep her for a week before giving her to me? The woman who adopted her had two toddlers and an infant. That is a handful for anyone. Add a rambunctious puppy to it and you have absolute mayhem. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to take Maya and glad that Maya didn’t end up getting tied up and ignored in a back yard. But this situation shows that shelters need to make sure pets are a proper fit for a family, and families need to make sure they are ready before they get a dog.

Maya’s first crate. It didn’t take her long to outgrow it.

Potty Training
Maya was a joy but it didn’t take long before she earned the nickname, Trouble, and the saying, “Oh my, oh my, oh Maya”. I was working from home so I had lots of time to spend with her. But Maya was still the most difficult dog to potty train. I’ve had dogs my whole life and never had as much trouble potty training as I did with Maya. In fact, just last month she had an accident. It was my fault since I knew I should have let her outside again after she had played in the sprinkler and drank lots of water. But I forgot and Maya doesn’t tell me when she has to go. She just goes.

Leash Training
Training Maya to walk properly on a leash has also been very difficult. She does well with the stop-n-go method where if she pulls I stop and wait for her to look at me and come back before going forward again. I also gave her treats when she stayed by my side for a length of time. But all that training goes out the window as soon as she sees another person, and especially if she sees another dog. I know how to help her with this issue, but it is not easy getting someone with their dog to help me. Plus, Maya gets used to that dog but will act out with other dogs she doesn’t know.

Not too long ago I had an incident where we stopped walking so I could pick up Maya’s poo. Suddenly, a dog came from around the corner and Maya started pulling and barking. I nearly landed in the poo!

Crate Training and Chewing
While Maya has a couple issues, I never had any trouble crate training her and she never chewed on anything she wasn’t supposed to. How great is that? Crate training was a quiet and easy process. And with all her toys, it never even occurred to her to chew on something like shoes or books.

Overall, Maya is a fantastic dog. She is so lovable and her silly antics make me laugh. I love how I can trust her with children and around other dogs. She is also smart and mostly very well-behaved. Plus she is a great cuddler. Her nose turns brown in winter due to the colder weather (this is normal for yellow Labradors). I love my nosy little brown-noser.

Maya with my young nephew Bennett.

As you can see, Maya is very photogenic. She’s not a working dog, per se. But she does work as a model for pet products for me. She is probably best known on my and websites. Maya loves to model in new dog car harnesses as well as other pet products. Check out these great photos of her below.

Maya has loved snow from the very start.

I know you see Maya tied up in this picture but I want you to know that she was never an outside dogs. When I got Maya, I lived in an apartment complex so when she spent time outside to play or potty, she had to be tied up. She was never left tied up unsupervised. I always went out with her.

Maya wearing her summer-fun dress

Maya Wearing Daisy Diva Design Collar

Maya showing off a handmade collar that has ice-pack inserts to keep her cool in the heat (available on


Maya is wearing her Kurgo Tru-Fit dog car harness.