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Entries by Joyful Dog

Enrichment: The Spice of (Your Dog’s) Life!

Happy National Puzzle Day! We hope you and your dogs are celebrating. 😊 Let’s explore how wonderful puzzles are for our dogs—in honor of the day—but first a little background. I remember a day, early in my journey with my wonderful shepherd mix Flim Flam, that we had gone for a long hike. As we […]

The Power of Pattern

I have a new refrigerator! Other than being a dandy receptacle for storing my dogs’ food, what does a fridge have to do with dog training you may ask? Stick with me for a moment… I’ve always kept my dish towel on a magnetic hook on the side of the fridge. However, my new appliance […]

Round the Clock for Timely Leash Connection

When our dogs pull forward on leash we often trigger them to pull even harder because we pull back on the leash. This oppositional response is natural with vertebrates, but is no fun at either end of the leash. We humans begin to think (incorrectly) that our dogs are “stubborn”, our dogs are thinking that […]

Fear-Free Hallowe’en!

It’s almost Halloween! Stores are full of adorable dog costumes, from the traditional hot dog to pumpkins, bumble bees or even cats! It hard to resist picking up a cute outfit for your dog to wear. Many dogs will find the attention fun, but remember being dressed up can be stressful for some dogs and […]

Awareness Walks

Awareness walks … or Fleetwood gets a Fence. My young English Shepherd, Fleetwood, is a sociable fellow, and as soon as he was tall enough to clear my four-foot fence he began vaulting over it to visit neighbors and their dogs. The good news? The dogs whom he visited quite liked him. The bad news? […]

My Puppy Cries at Night

WHY DOES MY PUPPY CRY AT NIGHT? Everything is new Just the night before, she was sleeping with her familiar human and canine family with the all the scents, sounds, and sights that had been part of her life for weeks, or even her whole life! Now she is in a new home, with a […]

Joyful Dog’s Favorite Gear

What the Well-Dressed Dog Wears We’re often asked for our recommendations as to the best collars, harnesses, and leashes for walking our dogs. This is one of our favorite topics because  of the extent to which these tools can help or hinder our communication, even our relationship, with our dogs. Our first criterion for the […]

Where’s the Bathroom, Please?

Puppies don’t come knowing where the bathroom is. We need to show them and make it reinforcing to eliminate in the puppy potty, prevent the opportunity for making a mistake, and reinforce when they get it right. While you are introducing potty manners your not-yet-housetrained puppies should be: outside eliminating inside in a place where […]

Puppy Chewing: What to Do?

When your house becomes a chew toy… Puppies chew things. And more things. And take a break to test their teeth on your hand. Then go back to chew another thing: Gramps’ antique parlor chair… Little Jimmy’s train set… Your favorite shoes, with your feet still in them! Our first reaction is usually to want […]

Lazy Training: “Capturing”

Clients have heard me confess more than once that I am a “lazy trainer”. Does that mean that I don’t take my own dogs to classes and workshops? NO! Do I never teach behaviors? NO! I delight in training with my dogs, perhaps too much. (Just ask my accountant.) One of my favorite ways to […]

Love a Gentle Leash

In this Valentine’s season let’s bring some love to that challenging activity, the leash walk! Often experienced as a tug-of-war or a shoulder-dislocating pulling sport, walking nicely together on leash is one of the most elusive of human-canine skills. There are a number of reasons that our dogs pull on leash: We are slower than […]

Well MET, Fido!

Is Your Dog “Well MET” This Holiday? I come from a long line of British ancestors and growing up had a fondness for older holiday customs. In particular a phrase in greeting, “well met visitors!” was very appealing. The concept of having been met well, is a powerful image that has stuck with me. With apologies to my […]

Emergency Leash Techniques

In a perfect world a walk with your dog would be like strolling hand-in-hand with a dear friend. A signal on the leash invites Fido to be easy at your side on the way to the park, and a signal from Fido encourages you to join him in following the morning’s scent trails. Most of […]

My dogs are not perfect

My dogs are not perfect. I’m sure you’re shocked! In fact when a friend and colleague recently mentioned offhandedly that one of my dogs was particularly well-behaved, it took every ounce of poker face I possess not to laugh. However, her comment got me thinking about the habits my dogs and I have built together, […]