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What Breed is Right for Me?

I frequently get calls and emails from people who want to know what breed of dog is right for their family. There are plenty of “breed selector” sites on the internet but, having tried out a few to see how well they match people with breeds, I’m unimpressed. One site said my “perfect match” was a Parson Russell Terrier. Another …

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Puppies Bite

Joyful Dogs Michigan is bringing a new board and train puppy home on Sunday. He’ll be nearly 15 weeks when he arrives and one of the issues I know I’ll be working with him on is biting. Puppies bite! The fact that puppies bite seems to come as a surprise to some new puppy owners. Mostly these are the folks …

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Housebreaking and Pee Pads

One of the first behaviors that we train our dog is housebreaking. The concept of housebreaking and pee pads seems easy enough. Teach your dog that it is not acceptable to go potty inside the house. However, as some of us have learned, that concept becomes fuzzy when we have made a common mistake. Some dog owners have begun training …

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Kids and Dogs

In my opinion it’s nearly abusive to raise a kid without having a dog. Maybe I’m biased but the experience of growing up with a dog cannot be celebrated enough. Not only does having a dog provide a child with a best friend, confidante, and playmate, but dogs are great mentors. But my love for having kids raised with dogs …

Reward-based Dog Training

I think everyone agrees that reward-based dog training is a good thing. Rewards in dog training are the pay that the dog gets for performing the behaviors we want from them. High value rewards are invaluable in training. So, can reward-based dog training go wrong? When rewards are a good thing When we begin to train a dog, we definitely …

Coronavirus and Dogs

The Coronavirus your dog can catch With the near hysteria over the novel coronavirus affecting humans we’re hearing a lot of rumors about pets and this respiratory disease. Here’s the truth about Coronavirus and dogs. There is a coronavirus that affects dogs but it is not the novel coronavirus infecting people right now. In dogs the coronavirus is a totally …

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What to do with a Bad Dog

One of the most common problems I hear about from clients is that they don’t what to do with a bad dog. The owners shout commands or tug on the leash or shove them in the crate hoping the pup will somehow start to behave. It won’t. Your dog needs help to focus itself and you need to know what …

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Separation Anxiety in Dogs

I get a tremendous number of calls about separation anxiety. The panic in an owner’s voice is clear. “My dog has separation anxiety!” It’s something that both saddens and frustrates us. We want our dogs to be able to go with us but at times we need them to stay home. Obviously, we need them to stay home without barking …

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Socialization for Puppies

You got a new puppy and want to give it a great start. I thank you for that decision but please don’t think that means exposing your new puppy to every puppy kindergarten class, person, dog, location, festival, and rocket launch you can find. Socialization for puppies is a more complex thing than you may realize. Socialization for Puppies starts …

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I Don’t Like Dog Parks

I don’t like dog parks. There. I said it. The reason is because they are not at all what the average dog owner thinks they are. Many of my customers proudly tell me that they make a special effort to take their dogs to dog parks. Honestly, the very thought makes me cringe. Dog parks are dangerous and encourage just …