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Tuesday Tip: a Sure-Fire Way to Socialize Your Puppy

When socializing your puppy, take it at the puppy’s speed. If he wants to walk away from a person, go with him! He may just need a moment to regroup and build his confidence. It’s critical that puppies have good experiences as their own pace, not forced interactions.

Watch for body language while he’s being petted, like glancing away, turning his head, sniffing the ground, walking away, shaking off, or quickly licking his lips. If you see any of those, just happily say, “let’s go!” and walk a few steps away with the puppy. You can even hand out a treat at that point (for putting up with the stranger and for coming with you), and then possibly see if he wants to go back for more.

Do this with everything: other dogs, strangers, kids, garbage cans, etc. Let him check out scary stuff from what he thinks is a safe distance. The more he can trust you on the leash, the more brave he will be. And since most aggression is really just fear, now is your chance to do some aggression prevention.

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Muzzle Training 101

Here’s a great YouTube video on how to get your dog used to wearing a muzzle. Dogs hate muzzles when they first go on, so it’s essential to train them to wear them comfortably if you need one. Muzzles do not keep a dog from wanting to bite, they just keep them from being able to. I only use muzzles to introduce a dog to a person or another dog when I’m sure it should go well, but I still want the situation to be safe, in case I’m wrong. I also use them when dogs who may bite have to be handled, as at the vet. We can’t count on our own timing, because dogs are ridiculously fast!!

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Amazing info at advanced seminars in Seattle

We’ve got some fabulous talks coming up for dog trainers and people who simply have gotten addicted to dog training. It’s even better than a basket-full of chocolate kisses. Seriously.

  • Kathy Sdao is a behaviorist and a scientist with decades of experience, but you wouldn’t know it by the energy she puts into all of her talks.  She has a great way of explaining difficult concepts so that we all understand.  Kathy is doing a relatively new kind of workshop in Seattle this summer, which we’re calling “Kathy Sdao Unplugged” – it’s a place for trainers and advanced folks to bring their dogs, get practice, and solve those tricky challenges with your own dogs. We have working and auditing spots.  You can get more info or register now for the July 15-16 workshop.
  • In September, we have a whole weekend devoted to fear, aggression, and play in dogs. I’ll be starting out the weekend with a 1-day presentation on Behavior Adjustment Training, or BAT.  It’s a technique I developed that has had some really fabulous results with client dogs and my own dogs, too.  People around the world are trying it and giving great feedback on their dog’s new-found ability to function like a regular dog!  On the second day, Patricia McConnell will fly into Seattle and rock our world with her great info on dog play and aggression. I’m absolutely thrilled to have Dr. McConnell, author of countless dog books, come to Seattle. She’s one of my all-time favorite dog behavior heroes. Can you tell?  You can get more info or register now for the September 11-12 workshop.
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BAT seminar for dog aggression and fear – January 2010

I just scheduled a seminar for dog trainers and advanced students, to teach a new system for working with behavior problems, called Behavior Adjustment Training, or BAT. The seminar is an hour and a half, Friday January 8th, 2010, from 8-9:30 p.m.

We also have an exciting visit from Patricia McConnell planned for September 12, 2010.

For more information, visit our trainer workshop page.
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