What Defines a Service Dog?

What defines a service a Service Dog? What is the difference between an Emotional Support Animal and a Service Dog? These are questions we, as trainers, deal with all the time. In an era where assistance animals are being “prescribed” by doctors for so many ailments, it is extremely important to know the difference and what rights you will have …

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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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Dog Food and Nutrition

Dog Food and Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of your dog’s life. However, it is commonly the least thought of, compared to exercise and lifestyle. Whether you prefer dry kibble or wet canned food, the nutrients your dog needs are the same. Quality commercial dog foods, either wet or dry, are regulated and have undergone extensive testing …

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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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When Should I Bring My Puppy Home?

People who are getting new puppies are often uncertain about when to bring their puppy home. Some people advocate bringing pups home at 8 weeks and others at 12 or even 16 weeks. There are even some who tell you to bring your puppy home earlier than 8 weeks. Here is some advice to help you answer the question, “When …