Your Yearly Update on Faithfully Yours!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This is just a little update before I return from my vacation time.

We are now booking appointments - both privates in-home and at our location with CURRENT or PAST clients for the month of January. If you would like to continue your training, please let me know as soon as possible.

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New At-Our-Location Training Service

We are happy to announce that our insurance has given us the green light to use our personal training yard for client training!

What does this mean for Faithfully Yours? That we are opening up more training slots during the week and that you can now travel to us to train in a safe, fenced in environment for private sessions in northeast Jackson.

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Death by Naughtiness: Euthanasia of Dogs with Behavioral Problems

Recently it has come to my attention that euthanasia for behavioral problems in dogs seems to be on the rise in my area. However, when I looked into who was making the call, I was disappointed and alarmed. It appears that trainers have taken to recommending euthanasia over the phone for dogs they haven’t seen in person – and people are following their advice.

Many of these dogs sadly could have been helped or worse, might have been displaying behaviors that were normal and were wrongly “diagnosed” over the phone.

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Which Dog Training Method is Most Efficient?

When I started dog training many moons ago, the field was based mainly on the now-debunked dominance theory. The current principles applied to dog training were just mere whispers of what was to come. However, I think this goes to show how far dog training is behind other forms of behavior modification and learning. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen any zookeepers or marine mammal trainers apply corrections to their animal students and expect anything other than certain death. Why do we seem to think that dogs are different than any other mammal on the planet?

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Pro Tips for the Best Dog Park Experience

Our first public dog park, Dog Park at the Rez will be opening this weekend, and that means many owners inexperienced in dog park culture will be there to try out a dog park for the first time. I noticed many of my clients were becoming anxious about the grand opening and still on the fence about going to the dog park. While I am not a huge fan of dog parks myself, I think that with a community understanding of dog body language and safety, they can be enjoyable for a select group of dogs and owners. To help ease some anxiety and help everyone have a safe and fun weekend at the dog park, I give you my tips for having the best dog park experience.

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Red Flags when Hiring a Dog Trainer

With the dog training world being unregulated, labels for various types of training have gotten out of control. You can pretty much call yourself anything and define yourself however you please to sell yourself to clients. Marketing methods like this, put future dog training clients at a huge disadvantage. Dog trainers can confuse you before you even set foot in a training class. You might think you are getting one thing, but you are getting another.

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Who is Responsible for the Euthanasia of Dangerous Dogs?

My first thought about this is we have no data to even prove that statement. Someone’s opinion on what they think they have seen a handful of times isn’t enough to make it factual information.

I have had many clients not helped by both other force-free trainers and more punitive trainers. My guess as to why? The trainers both aren’t experience enough in their methods to successfully handle that case. End of story. Nothing more and nothing less.

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Why Genetic Health Testing Matters

My entire life I have only owned rescued dogs with histories of unknown circumstances and problematic issues. All of my dogs essentially came to me “broken”. They all came with a plethora of problem behaviors and were “project” dogs. After working with rescue after rescue and seeing more of the same, I decided it was time for me to step outside of my comfort zone and purchase a dog from a responsible breeder instead.

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Make Crate Training Fun!

Since I have been homebound lately while recovering from health issues and waiting for my medicine to kick in, I have been working with Oakley, our new Border Collie puppy, on some new training challenges. So far Oakley has already done mat work and sleeps soundly in her exercise pen with crate attached overnight.

However I rarely lock her inside of the crate itself because we haven’t gone through all the training steps I prefer yet to decrease stress and build comfort in the crate.I thought it was definitely time to start teaching her to love her crate!

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Respect for the Reactive Dog

My Australian Kelpie, Beretta, has gained popularity among my Facebook friends as the “dog who couldn’t, but now can.” You see, when I got Beretta, she was a free dog on Craigslist. I had so many plans for this dog. I wanted to train her in agility and compete with her by my side, I wanted to make her a demo dog for my training company, and my most difficult goal to achieve, I wanted her to become a service dog for my non-combat related PTSD.

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Isn’t Positive Only Training Permissive?

Well, here we go into one of the most debated topics in the dog world. We had to go down the rabbit hole at some point. A few days ago I came across a post on my Facebook feed by an aspiring trainer, and I was disappointed to see how a blooming once-promising positive trainer was talking about how “corrections” were needed to train dogs. Their point was that “positive only” training is much too permissive, and we are leaving out a huge chunk of information a dog needs to learn – what they are doing wrong.

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The Latest and Greatest in Positive Dog Training Technology

With Christmas just around the corner, I am always looking for the latest and greatest to buy for my dogs. (And test out for my clients!) In the recent years, I have seen an increase in new technology meant to help owners train their dogs more efficiently than ever before. We are a family that is completely infatuated with technology so, naturally, I want to test out all the new training gadgets. I know I have clients who feel the same way. I have created a list of the latest and greatest in positive dog training technology for my tech-savvy clients to refer to whenever they need a new toy. So go out there and spoil some dogs this holiday!

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Last Minute Ways to Have a Well-Behaved Dog During the Holidays

Thanksgiving is finally upon us. The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and yummy treats just for the humans is enough to drive any dog mad. It could be hours of sitting around doing nothing while their owners cook delicious food they can’t have or talk to the cat-people relatives. Our dogs being underfoot, begging for turkey isn’t exactly helpful when we’re stressed from hours in the kitchen. Many dog owners wait until last minute and then realize a week of training just isn’t long enough to solve their dog’s behavior problems. So, here at Faithfully Yours Dog Training, we started testing a few ways to keep your dog happy while you get ready for the holidays.

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Lab Mix or Pit Bull Mix? – What Shelters Aren’t Telling Adopters

When scrolling through my Facebook feed, I see probably a hundred homeless dogs posted on various shelter and rescue pages a week. Most of the time the dogs are mislabelled as more popular breeds, like Labs or Golden Retrievers. It is impossible for a shelter or rescue to know the origin of most of these dogs, but the general public holds their opinion in high esteem.

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Why Dogs Need Guidance, Not Dominance

Last night, I had a pretty cool experience. In my brochures I was handing out about Faithfully Yours, a man read the section that said I was studying Psychology.

He asked me where I was studying and what plans I had after that. I told him I would be continuing on for my Animal Behavior degree in a year or so. He said, “WOW! They have an animal psychology degree now!?”He then told me this amazing story about his older dog he had trained to sit at intersections on their walks and wait for him to point in the direction they were going, before the dog would continue walking.

He then added, “I used my psychology degree to teach him all that stuff, come to think of it.”

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How to Make an Ortho Pet Bed or Refresh an Old Dog Bed

I have been searching for the perfect orthopedic pet bed for my eleven year old dog, Booski for about a year now. I will admit that I have high standards and I couldn’t find a bed that met my standards that was within a sane price point. Most of the ortho beds were easily over a $100 and all I could think was, “For what? Foam!?”

I am assuming most of you thought the same thing and that is how you came across this blog. One night while looking at the ortho beds for Booski, I got the idea to use an old memory foam bed topper we had laying around in a closet. It could perfectly support her joints and I was throwing it out anyway, so why not use it?

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Training Deaf, Blind, and Three-Legged Dogs

As a dog trainer, I never know who is going to call next. Every client, dog, and family are different. They have different needs, wants, and goals for their dog and household. Of course, there are some common complaints I hear quite often, but most of my job is being creative and making the humans’ lives with their dogs easier. The truth of the matter is most of the “behavioral issues” I see are just dogs being dogs. The dog is perfectly fine and happy. The people, however, have expectations of the dog and are therefore, unhappy when they aren’t met.

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Puppies Bite! How to Stop Puppy Biting

It is that time of year again! It is puppy season! This is the time, us dog trainers, see a huge increase in clients, especially puppy clients. The weather is getting warm, the kids will be out of school, and what better idea than to get a puppy so, they can have summer adventures together, right?

Ermm… maybe not so much.

We have all heard it a million times; puppies are a huge responsibility. As adults, we should be able to handle this responsibility, right? Well, to be honest, puppies are not for the fate of heart. Puppies bite, pee, poop, whine at all hours of the night, and in general, get into trouble.

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Three Dog Toy Brands You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

Anyone who has taken one of my classes knows I am obsessed with dog toys. I find myself recommending product after product to clients because they simply make sense in their situation. Puzzle dog toys or interactive dog toys are my all-time favorite. They just cannot be beat when it comes to keeping your dog entertained and busy when you do not want them underfoot. So, what is a puzzle dog toy you ask? Well, my friend, it is God’s gift to dog owners who have lost their patience.

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