Train Your Dog!

It is no secret that some of my favorite people are dogs.   Dogs are not only superior conversationalists but keep my feet warm which few two leg friends manage.  I like dogs.

Most people agree a decently trained dog is easier to like and a happier critter.  A trained dog gets to be a bigger part of your life. When you go, they can often come.  They have a much larger more exciting world if they can be trusted to follow a few basic rules.

One of the pups in the neighborhood is in the doghouse.  It seems she refuses to come when called.  A quick Internet search reveals many pages of sound advice from  knowledgeable dog trainers…  It is much easier to consider an animal defective than to blame your own lack of skills.  Your dog isn’t “broken”, YOU ARE.

I used to take this pup on walks with my Little Bear when she was new in the hood.  She is about a year and a half now.  I knew quickly and advised the owners she would be a terrific candidate for dog school.  She has a stubborn streak and it bothered me that when you said her name she didn’t look at you…  Some of her most self endangering behavior has extinguished.  She no longer chases cars.  She no longer bothers the horses WHEN I AM WITH HER.  Sadly this is not universally true and she got horse kicked a week ago.  She has lost the privilege of going to “work” with Mom because she doesn’t honor basic commands. 

It’s sad, but she is not my dog. 

Dog school was the most wonderful thing Little Bear and I ever did together.  It was fun and exciting and so was the homework.  I learned so much and Mr. Little got to hang with the big dogs and sniff butt.  Cookies were involved.  It was the icing on the firm bond we were already developing.  I ended up with a well mannered dog who was a joy to be around and could go anywhere with me.  He knew to wait by the side of the road and not cross until I did.  He knew things (food) on the coffee table were off limit.  I could draw a line with my finger on the ground and tell him it “was a no” and he would not cross that line.  If he did forget a simple sharp “eh!” was all that was ever needed and his good behavior brought him endless treats, pets and praise. 

Training your dog is a gift to the dog, yourself, and everyone who ever meets that dog.  Train your dog.  You wouldn’t believe what they will willingly do for love, positive attention and a cookie. 


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16 Responses to Train Your Dog!

  1. AMEN!! and this same dog has nearly been run over in Madrid, and has harassed other dogs in their own yards…. she had such potential to be an obedient dog, but knowing her breed, with DOGGIE SCHOOL she could, indeed, learn to be good!!!!!

  2. thomassparky says:

    Dog school is wonderful and worked well for Woody and his sister Jesse. But people forget it dosen’t end when school is done. Mother doesn’t reinforce anything she and her dog learned together so jesse just runs wild until I show up!

    • osolynden says:

      An excellent point Thomas. Lynden

      • osolynden says:

        Yes Thomas. They need that reinforcement. Done right… they are usually thrilled to please. I know when I got a 9-5 job Little Bear couldn’t come to, his baby sitter refused to cross the road the way he and I did, the way he had been taught… and he began considering it optional…

        Mixed signals must be very confusing.

  3. Cary says:

    Charlotte’s my baby girl and she does WONDERFULLY well when following commands and everyone here LOVES her to death!!!! How could they not with ME as her trainer???? ruff, ruff, ruff…………. 😉

  4. I spent my summers growing up either at my grandpa LE’s ranch or Papa’s farm where I learned about many types of animals and how to train them, be around them, for some could be very dangerous if you didn’t establish who’s the boss. I grew up having dogs around all my life. Also was taught how to train a dog, and yes, very true indeed it’s not the dog, it’s his/her human that causes issues. Let me tell you we do rescue, and in some extreme cases you have to know what you are doing. People even the vet always complement us on our dogs being happy, well behave and very healthy. Its not always easy. One dog I couldn’t even help with all my years of experience. Mike saved him using special technique that humiliates a dog into stop biting by holding him tight making him watch other dogs eat, telling him calmly to be easy, “NO” whenever showed teeth or growled. The baby had severe food aggression and was kept in a cage very long periods. The lady did the right thing giving him up!!!!! During the process Mike would feed him by hand and slowly introduced food in the bowl. It worked and now he has a new home with another dog his size, no issues at dinner time and huge fenced yard, NO CAGE! I’ll be right back, got to get the cookies out of the oven. I have another story to share about a dog I recently had to start taking care of. He is a new breed for me. Its so funny!!!!!!

    • osolynden says:


      I am very lucky to have such a diverse and talented group of friends. I didn’t realize you did behavior problem rescues. How wonderful.

      Does it work with people too?

      Remember this one SGH?
       photo 1311165214_bulldog_in_a__swing_zps2cac85d8.gif

      • Sorry took so long. I had to go to a meeting with a client and thought cookies would be a good ice breaker. I was right! Cookies saved the day. And to answer your question…, unfortunately some people are too impossible to train. OK here it is, I told you recently we’ve started doing part-time farmhand work. And pet sitting the farm for the landlord when on vacation. Of all the animals there is one dog that gives me grief! He is smart as a whip and if you don’t show him who’s boss from the get go, he can be very difficult. Mike wrestled him a few times and now he loves and listens to him. I’m more of a sweet, quiet, gentle, soft spoken type person, LOL…can’t you tell? So naturally he picks up on that, so to get him to listen I use positive reinforcement. I am not wrestling that huge dog, he could get mad and eat me. So I carry around pieces of his dry dog food in my pocket to get him to do as I command. It really works!!! He has been a real challenge, constantly testing me like a 3yr old child. No doubt his breed has a lot to do with it too….Catahoula…red wolf/mastiff. And yes, I remember that picture, love it! To cute! TIP of the day: One must remember to remove the dog food from their pockets before washing their jeans….doh!

  5. Frank says:

    We were having trouble with our dog being destructive while we were at work. Not having a lot of money to spend on dog training, I was discussing our dilemma with a coworker.

    He recommended a Digital Thingy that I could get online that would probably be of help.
    We got it. It helped a lot and it a was cheap. It explained a lot of stuff. You can see it at….


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