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How much exercise is right for my dog?
Tips for a Reliable Come Command
Raising a Well Mannered Puppy
Teaching reliable behavior in your dog!
Dog Coat Types


Dog Training
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Dog Training

How much exercise is right for my dog?

Today let's talk about exercise of our beloved pooches. While dogs range in size and energy level, all dogs need frequent exercise to stay in shape and behave their very best!
     Exercise can help my dog behave? Yes! Younger dogs, and "working breeds" such as Australian shepherds, Border collies, and German shepherds, must have a consistent way to get out some energy! Older dogs may be content with daily walks but if you have a juvenile or high energy dog, lack of regular running time can have serious and detrimental effects on your dogs behavior-and maybe even your belongings! In this article we'll discuss methods to improve your dogs health and well being with various ways they can stay physically busy!
    Dogs who do not receive enough exercise will exhibit signs-chewing on furniture, bolting out of doors, excessive barking, or obesity. Any dog that is out of teething age and still displaying destructive chewing habits is doing so out of boredom/frustration and needs time to run. Walking for dogs does have healthy benefits-but all canines need time to RUN. That isn't to say you should be running 2 miles with a 5 month Great Dane puppy! Consult a Veterinarian before starting on any exercise program with your dog- Some breeds can run with you for longer periods, some need to be closely monitored with light exercise, and some dogs are heat sensitive and care should be taken about the time of day for their exercise. Running with your dog is a great way for both of you to stay in shape and bond. It's also important to train your dog to run at your side at your pace or it won't be a comfortable experience for either of you!
    Doggie Daycare is an excellent way to burn off tons of energy! At our Daycare, dogs are cycled through play groups and rest periods for optimal care. Our Daycare staff are trained in dog behavior and interact with toys and other stimuli to keep our dogs moving! Doggie Daycare is an excellent way to socialize your pet, help them get some energy out, and even improve their behavior! Dogs learn what is correct from other dogs much faster than learning from a human. Another dog will be quick to let them know when they are playing too rough or behaving inappropriately. We also practice wait commands and frequently have the dogs sit while in group. This helps them focus better in higher distractions. Dogs leave daycare tired and happy, and many owners bring their dogs to daycare at least once a week for exercise and fun.
   Interactive games with your dog can also be a good exercise! Tug of war and fetch are great ways to get energy out and keep a healthy active bond with your pet. Fun Classes like agility combine obedience and exercise! Think about how your pet could improve with a better curriculum of exercise and get started today!

Tips for a Reliable Come Command

      Let's take a moment and discuss recall, or the "come" command. Many owners express frustration at a lack of reliable return on command of their otherwise faithful Fido. Why do dogs ignore recall commands?
 More exciting stimuli! If it's your dog's day at the park and he has ducks to chase and butts to sniff, of course he isn't going to come screeching to a halt and run to your side! He has higher motivation to do what HE wants-and he doesn't have a leash to hold him back!
Prior punishment when coming. Some owners make the mistake of asking their dog to come when they are in trouble. The dog comes, then gets punished! I wouldn't want to come either! Even recalling a dog to send to the crate can build mistrust with a come command. The goal is consistency!
      Let's improve! Practice recall on a long leash in low distraction. (in your backyard or in your living room) Wait until your dog is slightly distracted, then Say their name and Come, in a strong clear voice. As soon as they turn to you give a verbal reward like yes in a happy tone! (tone is crucial!) when they reach you reward with more verbal praise, each time you say yes, give a treat. Then move on to working on a 15 ft leash (NOT a retractable leash but a proper training long leash) in your front yard, at the park, etc. If you introduce new distracting stimuli too fast, you're setting your dog up for failure. This command needs to be built slowly and consistently with consideration and time put in before adding any new distractions.
     The most important thing to teach your dog is the BEST place to be is beside you. Even when you call your dog away from something they aren't supposed to be doing, it's crucial to mark the behavior of recall as a GOOD thing.
We also want to work on the 3 d's - duration, distance, and distraction. Proof your dog for any situation while you have control- on leash! Off leash obedience takes time and should be done under the supervision of a knowledgeable trainer for best results.
    Work on obedience! Join a group class to reinforce training and the bond between you and your dog. Training should be structured but fun- never train when irritated or upset. Have fun and happy training!
 Questions about Dog Training? Give us a call at 919 469 8185 or send us an email at

Raising a Well Mannered Puppy

So, you got a puppy! There are tons of different puppy raising methods, and tons of opinions from tons of people. Let's figure out some basic, common sense ground rules together to help you start on your course of success with your new dog.

                Number 1-Let's set clear expectations for how you want your puppy to behave when they are introduced to new people. Do you want them to explode with excitement, bowl children over with enthusiasm, and jump all over everyone they meet? No? No, of course not! It's much better to have a pet that calmly greets someone and doesn't "explode" with excitement.  So set those expectations for you, your puppy, and other people- don't let your puppy jump! Don't let ANYONE let your puppy jump on them. Don't reward this behavior by brushing it off as "cute" when they are little. Teach your puppy Sit, and ask them to sit every time they meet someone, but before the person gets within jumping range. If they try to jump, ask the person to move back and try again. Greeting people the same way every time reinforces the good behavior you want your dog to exhibit.

             Number 2- Make sit your best friend! Ask your puppy to sit before going outside, before putting down his food bowl, before clipping on the leash for a walk. Make sit a conditioned response!
Number 3-Group Class! One of the most important things you can do for your dog is take them to a group training class. This teaches them how to work in new places, around dogs and people, builds a bond between you and them, and greatly helps with socialization.

         Number 4-Socialization! Show your puppy EVERYTHING. We want to maximize positive experiences with new people and things,( like the dreaded vacuum cleaner), while minimizing scary experiences that could set your puppy back. Be careful of dog parks! You don't know who is vaccinated, who is puppy friendly and who isn't. Set up playdates with people from puppy class, neighbors with friendly dogs. Meet friends at the park and go on walks! Don't let your puppy go up to every dog they see, and always ask before your dog goes to greet another dog-some dogs aren't friendly! 
Number 5- Start your puppy on a regular grooming schedule. Get them used to nail trims and hair cuts. Find a friendly and patient groomer who is willing to work with your puppy on grooming manners-it will benefit you GREATLY in the long run.

Using these tips will greatly help you and your puppy on the road to having a well mannered dog!
              Questions about training? Call 919 469 8185 or email Crystal at

Teaching reliable behavior in your dog!

 As a Dog Trainer, I often get asked by dog owners why their dog doesn't listen-or is "selectively deaf" especially off leash! It's a difficult question, with an easy answer! Your dog may place a higher value on stimuli around him! If you take a puppy to the dog park, let them off leash, and yell come, chances are your puppy will be halfway across the park happily ignoring you-because there are lots of dogs and people to meet, and tons of new smells, whereas you are almost always around, and therefore less exciting! 

So let's fix that!    
         When teaching reliable obedience, subscribe to the ladder theory- your dog has to have a firm grip on basic manners and your expectations (the first step) before you can expect him to climb the next step and always respect you and your wishes-no matter where you are. I begin puppy training as a game - we start with a focus command, in a quiet area after the puppy has had time to run around and expend that puppy energy. Then we work on adding the focus command with more and more distractions. I expect owners to be consistent with their dogs- short, fun training sessions, a couple of rules that the owner decides on-whether the pup is allowed on the couch or not, puppy should sit and wait patiently for meals and to go outside, basic structure in your puppy's life with a few simple choices that you decide on. It's not an over night process but by teaching your dog the quickest way to earn affection, a game of fetch, or a treat is to listen to you,you'll set them up for success! As training progresses we work in different locations with more distractions around-this is called "proofing" a behavior. Proofing enables your dog to obey a command no matter the circumstance. If you only expect your dog to sit at home and never have them sit at the pet store, don't be surprised when they take longer to sit or ignore you completely! Starting your dog or puppy off with structure at home to begin with before trying new commands in public will set you up for success and have your dog be the best behaved pooch anywhere you go!
Questions about Dog Training? Give us a call at 919 469 8185 or send us an email at
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