Dog training

The day I fell in love with a senior dog in a rescue group

Today I woke up and did my morning meditation, stretches, and grounding exercises to get me focus for the day. I wrote in my journal and sent myself some positive information. After getting dressed I headed to a rescue group where I volunteer.

As hot as it was today I knew I was not going to be outside for long. I entered in the rescue, signed in and went immediately to the dog run. As I walked up and down the aisle full of energetic dogs eager to come out and play or attack me, I noticed a dutch shepherd who looked very focused. I love the look of a focused dog.

The first thing I noticed was that he was 7 years old and was a black dog. I thought to myself that this dog is old and I should probably check if he has any medical issues. Once he was cleared I took him to play in the yard. We played fetch with a ball and ran around the yard. He knew the command sit so I asked him to sit each time.

He doesn't really know any other commands, but I see the potential this dog possesses.We will work on that. He would stare at me as if asking what to do next. I thought he would soon run out of energy being that he was older, but quite the opposite happened. We walked and he was full of life. He was my partner for the day. I was excited and it gave me a rush of energy.

We found some shade and sat down and relaxed as if we had just finished working a construction job and was on lunch break. I was always one to say I'd rather a young dog than an old dog, but I'm not so sure that's the case all the time.

Of course a young dog is usually more energetic, but not all the time. It also depends whose adopting the dog. They might not want a dog that's energetic. The older dogs usually have more health problems. They usually have behavioral problems if they are in these situations. They have a shorter life span left.

And with all this in mind, I am now rooting for the underdog. These dogs are a victim of circumstance. They can be great dogs with a dedicated owner.

The crazy thing I find about people that want puppies is that most of the time these are the dogs who later end up being that old dog in a rescue group or shelter. A puppy is a blank slate, but it is also a lot more work. If you mess up you can only blame yourself. 

I don't want to discourage anyone. I'm just saying if you aren't into any dog sports where you need a young healthy dog that you can train then consider an older rescue dog. They are not all the same. Just like humans have diversity, so do dogs. I left the rescue group feeling like I had made a new friend. I just hope I impacted his life as much as he impacted mine.

The Cesar Millan show!!!

Recently I just went to a Cesar Milan show in Westbury Long Island. I had a great time. He definitely put on a show that was entertaining with jokes and demonstrations.  He talked about his story coming from Mexico and being surrounded by dogs with no leashes yet the dogs followed him.

It was this sort of primal energy that he was putting off that seemed to not be accessible to our modern technological world. I loved this talked as it fed my hunger for nature and returning back to a simplier time and way of living even if only in my mind.

I watched demonstrations of Cesar taking a dog that was pulling a volunteer around the room. Cesar took that dog and within seconds was able to walk with the dog only the leash with 2 fingers.

Many were surprised. I watched this guy for a while and its what I expected. Cesar also had words of wisdom too. He talked about dogs following you and the state of mind that they are in when they were demonstrating certain behaviors. Some dogs were too hyper and he gave them a chance to relax first.

This was something I liked about Cesar. He is big on being fair and setting the dog up for success. Even though he has a dominance theory of how dogs are like wolves in a pack he believes in fairness. You know dog psychology stuff.

I went with an open mind being that I had to because I didn't know we were going there until my girlfriend and I pulled up to the theatre with her car. And also because I always feel like I can learn something as a dog trainer.

I do think people don't realize that Cesar shows is mostly for entertainment not for you to go home and start practicing on your dog. I have clients that immediately start to shhhh their dog and tapping them the way Cesar does. Without knowing what state of mind their dog is in and just guessing, they attempt it. Every time their dog "acts up" they think he is being dominant. I believe that there are dominant dogs but most dogs are opportunist.

Also  realistically for some of the behaviors that dogs have that Cesar fixes on his show he needs more than an hour to do. There is a lot of editing and showing you quick results. I am not discrediting Cesar because he is a professional and knows what he is doing. I just don't want people to get the wrong idea about trying this at home.

These are the thoughts that went through my head as I drank some red wine after the intermission. Maybe it was the wine making think more intensely, but truthfully I think like this about dog training on a regular. I wish I got more footage of Cesar. Too bad I wasn't a VIP member. Maybe next time. Can't wait for the next stop- Michael Ellis dog trainer in Cali. 

Why I quit PetSmart And decided to start my own company?

Many dog owners go to PetSmart for the money deal. They have 6 week classes for $129. That sounds like a bargain right? Not really because its a lot of filler and making sure the classes are stretched out. I'm not saying that the training is all bad, it;s just low grade compared to what you could be getting from an actual trainer.

Since they are a corporation they are about money. I'm not complaining about that. They promise that clients get a money back guarenteed if they are not satisfied with the class. What I am complaining about is that that money comes out of my paycheck if a client does want a refund. Its not my fault a client wants a refund. They taught me the methods to use and I had to use their methods.

It was bad enough that they weren't paying enough, but this was over the top. Now business is business. I'm sure they were not in the business to lose money. Therefore I agree with those methods to market, but as an employee who loves dog training all around I was upset by the limiting tools and methods I could use.

I remember I had to train a boxer who wasn't aggressive, but he was hyper. The owner had an issue with the dog jumping up on people. I did the petsmart  way but the owner was very impatient. I let him know that it does take patience and consistency. Unfortunately, as a petsmart employee I was not allowed to go to a client's home to offer training. So I couldn't be certain what they were doing at home.

When a dog has behavior issues most of the time it has to do with how you live with your dog. Your dog can know all the obedience commands in the world, but not perform it if you live poorly with your dog.

What I mean by living poorly in simple terms is your dog not respecting what you say because your dog doesn't understand and you haven't explained the rules  the best you can or because you lack consistency.

The dog spent most of their time home and around the neighborhood so that's where I wanted to do my work. Another reason I quit and went rogue was because I hate working in retail. I don't know about how you feel, but to me it sucks. The hours cutting, the short lunch break, the constant standing on your feet looking aimlessly for something to do, the constant need to be pleasant to people who are beyond rude and look down on you. I think I'll pass.

I feel much happier now that I have the freedom to help my clients connect more with their dog in a deeper way. I don't have to smile at every person that walks by like a crazy clown. I can be truthful, authentic, and creative. I love it and my clients love it and do great also. I can't wait to see what the future holds. Some big plans coming soon.