My granddaughter loves to take my dog for a walk when she visits, but he’s so strong he drags her down the street. I’m afraid my granddaughter is going to get hurt. Can you help?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:08:53+00:00
Yes we can! Loose leash walking is something we teach all of our clients. Even more importantly, we teach your dog how to listen to everyone in the family, no matter how tall!
My dog constantly begs at the dinner table until someone shares with her. If I’ve told her “No” once, I’ve said it a hundred times, but she won’t stop. What do I do?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:08:57+00:00
It sounds like two things are happening here. “No” may not have any meaning, especially if it is not followed through or if she isn’t told to do something else. She is also learning that if she waits you out, she will eventually get fed. So she is training you to feed her to get her to leave you alone.
Every time there is a thunderstorm, my dog hides in my bedroom. Sometimes, she even pees on the floor! What can I do?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:09:02+00:00
It is human nature to want to coddle and make our dogs feel better; however, making them do some obedience and work with you is usually a better option. If she is busy paying attention to you and working on some obedience, the thunder (or anything else that startles her) becomes background noise.
This all sounds pretty good. How do I get started with The Dog Wizard?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:09:06+00:00
All Dog Wizard locations offer a free consultation. Most locations will even come to you to do one! This enables our trainers to meet you and your dog, go over your training goals, and find a program that works for you. Give us a call and we will help you set one up.
I know some trainers use shock collars, but I don’t want you to hurt my dog. What training methods do you use?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:09:30+00:00
The Dog Wizard trainers are well versed in a variety of training tools; from food to collars to remote collars. We know that not all dogs do well with every tool and we will help you decide what tool is best for your dog as well as what tools you’re comfortable with using. At the end of the day, whatever tool you’re comfortable in using will be the one you’re most consistent in using and that’s what’s most important to us.
I want my dog to be well behaved, but I am afraid the training will change her personality. What do you think?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:23:34+00:00
Just like with people, attitude and personality may seem to drop when something is new. Through consistency and black and white expectations, attitude comes back and personality will still be there. Anytime we see a drop in attitude after training is if expectations start to become inconsistent.
When my dog was a puppy, she used to nip at my hand for attention. I thought it was cute. Now that she is 80 pounds, it’s not so cute anymore. How do I re-train her?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:09:36+00:00
A lot of puppies will bite when they play. Unfortunately it will carry over into adulthood if not addressed early on. However, it’s not too late to fix it! It will be important to consistently let your dog know it’s no longer acceptable to bite when she gets excited and equally as important to start giving her something more appropriate to do, like hang out on her bed with something to chew on.
We are thinking of adopting a rescue dog. He’s very adorable, but skittish and afraid of everyone. What can we do?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:09:45+00:00
Over the first few days, you’ll start creating a bond with your new dog. Setting up schedules, learning each other’s personalities, and starting to recognize certain behavior traits. Starting a training program early on will help build that bond and we have a lot of experience working with nervous, skittish, and submissive dogs.
My dog tries to rub himself on the leg of anyone that visits our home. Needless to say, this is pretty embarrassing. What can we do to break the habit?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:09:50+00:00
There are two parts to fixing this problem. There is letting your dog know that the behavior is not ok, with a marker like “No” and then having him do something you do like, such as “Place”. The other part to this is being consistent. If every time he does it, he’s told not to and made to do something else, a new habit will form and the old one will go away.
Every time my dog starts barking, we have to give him treats to shut him up. I’m afraid he’s going to get fat. What should we do?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:09:55+00:00
When a dog is barking at something, we need to get his attention back on us to get him to stop. There are many techniques to help with that and not all require food every time. We can teach you other approaches and work with you on a plan to manage how much food he is getting during training.
My Mom is moving to a nursing home, and we are adopting her dog. What can we do to help him make the transition?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:10:04+00:00
We recommend that you set up a free consultation so that we can meet and evaluate the dog and his ability to handle this change. This way we can give you all the help and support you will need to make this transition as easy as possible
We’re expecting our first child in a few months. What can we do to help prepare our dog for the new arrival?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:10:09+00:00
We would love to have you meet with one of our trainers to take our “preparing your dog for the new baby” class. In this class we will teach you all the things you need to do to make the transition as easy as possible for you and your dog.
If you’re the one training my dog, will he listen to me after he’s trained?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:10:19+00:00
If we decide that a JumpStart program is the best option for you and your dog than we will also make sure you have all the information, tools, and support to make sure the behaviors transition over to you. All you will need to do is stay clear and consistent with the expectations we have established for your dog and he will mind you just as well.
Why does my dog jump on everyone they meets regardless how much we ignore them?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:12+00:00
Your dog has gotten something positive out of jumping, or he would not do it. Many times this is the result of the dog being allowed (and even praised) for jumping when they were a smaller puppy because it is very cute for an adorable off balanced 10 lb lab puppy with big ears to jump on you (obviously it does not hurt and who can resist a cute puppy). However, when this tender faced, fat cheeked, ball of fur turns into a 70 lb dog with real toenails…it is no longer cute or pleasant. This dreadful behavior got them so much positive attention for so long, and suddenly when the humans start to “ignore” the behavior….the dog is thinking, “oh, they must not see me, let me jump a little higher”.
Why does my dog chew our remotes, sunglasses, and socks, even-though they has plenty of toys?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:19+00:00
Dog are companion animals, so they do enjoy company, but they were also originally bred for purposes (other than just being our friends) so they need mental stimulation. Many dogs chew out of boredom and not being properly shown the correct structure in the house as to what is allowed and what is not. For many dogs that have not had this structure implemented, the whole house becomes open game for how they see fit. So when they are slightly bored, they look around and say, “hmmm what would I like to clean my teeth on today? And remember they are also “companion” animals, so that side of them says, “I wish mom or dad were here”, so it is logical how they ultimately go with: “I think I will chew on that remote today because it smells just like my mom and dad, this way I can clean my teeth and hang out with mom and dad….YAY for me!” If given the opportunity and not having the proper structure, a dog will always choose an object to chew that has the strongest scent of the owner (remotes, books, socks, underwear, sunglasses, phones, etc).
Why does my dog dig holes in our yard?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:23+00:00
As mentioned in an earlier answer, dogs are more than just companion animals. Every dog breed was bred for some purpose. Dogs had jobs. Therefore, these innate traits are in them, no matter how much sofa time we allow them to have. As a result, these dogs need some mental stimulation to keep them sane. Certain breeds and lines absolutely require more than others, but all require some. So, a dog is going to provide his own mental stimulation if it is not provided for him….hence hunting down all the traces and smells of moles your backyard has to offer, or just seeing how far he can dig that hole. Many dogs form the “digging habit” from digging early in their life and no one telling them not too. When these dogs arrived in their new house and yard, after everything they could possibly explore above ground had been accomplished (about 5-7 months), it is only natural they would begin going downward to continue the exploration process and satisfy their mental needs. If dogs do this for so long with no direction not to, there is a very good chance they will form a habit of digging. Of course, certain hunting breeds are much more prone to dig, but any dog will dig if they have not been shown proper structure and/or provided proper mental stimulation.
Why does my dog act aggressive toward people that are trying to be nice to him?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:27+00:00
The root of all aggression is fear 90% of the time. So (even if there is not one incident to pinpoint), somewhere along the line your dog has had some negative experiences with strangers. Sometimes it is a series of physical abuse by strangers that have made them not trust human’s intentions. But for many it is as simple as them being a shy insecure dog, and time after time people they did not know were constantly invading their space by petting them and or picking them up. Meanwhile, the dog was giving all the proper signals of being nervous and requesting some space. However, these clear canine signs were being ignored or not recognized by the humans. This results in the dog having to resort to aggression, which when he/she does….typically humans back up quick, so this style of communication works much better for the dog.
Why does my dog play fine with certain dogs they know, but acts aggressively toward strange dogs (who just want to play)?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:31+00:00
A common misconception about dogs is they are naturally social animals without fail. It is true that dogs are born with social communication skills, but many dogs have to continue to practice these social skills by continuing to socialize with strange dogs in order for this “skill” to remain fresh. This is similar to learning a foreign language for humans, and if you stop practicing this language…..many loose the ability to communicate in that language. If a dog is acting aggressive toward a friendly dog, then this dog does not understand the other dog’s body language and friendly communication. A bouncy goofy dog approaching fast can seem like a major threat if they do not know how to recognize “bouncy, goofy, playful” signals and actions. The reason this same dog would play well with your mom’s dog is that “familiar” dogs no longer require social skills.
It seems logical that any dog should understand another dog (seeing that they are the same animal), but unfortunately that is not the case. If you think about it, what if another human came running, jumping and screaming at you in a foreign language you did not understand? Depending on your past experiences, you may be tempted to run or you may even punch them? You may perceive their actions as a potential threat, or you could recognize the joy in their face and learn that they just won the lottery. The point is, when we do not understand another’s intentions…we can perceive them wrong and often act inappropriately.
Why doe my dog break out of a crate?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:36+00:00
Dogs can do this for a number of reasons, but the most common is a simple explanation that we see all the time. When the owners brought their new puppy home, they heard a crate was necessary, so they have one ready to go. The first day, they hold the pup all day long, sits on the sofa with them, and naps in their lap. The first night, they put the pup in the crate, many for the first time, and the normalcy of the day is unsettling to the dog, so he begins to cry and bark. Depending on the pup’s self-confidence at this age, he may cry harder and harder. Most owners can’t take the crying, so they go get they pup and let him sleep with them. After all, it allows everyone to get some sleep. Fast forward to when the pup turns into an adolescent, and they no longer want the dog in their bed (and due to not being able to trust him), they need the dog to go back in the crate. Now the pup is older, stronger, and unfortunately, did not develop his self-confidence about being alone and in the crate. He first tries crying, but it doesn’t work like before so he starts trying to find a way out….if successful once, most dogs will do it over and over again.
Other possibilities are what we refer to as containment phobia, this is similar to claustrophobia for humans. And lastly, some dogs had a bad experience in a crate and it causes them much anxiety to be in one until we change that association. A “bad” experience for a dog might be harder for us humans to recognize, so many owners see no correlation and continue to force them in a space they are very uncomfortable.
Why does my dog use the bathroom in the house (even though we take them out all the time)?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:39+00:00
Dogs that do this feel they have two bathrooms, one inside and one outside. Somewhere along the way, you allowed this dog the freedom to roam and have accidents in your house that you did not (and probably still do not) catch in the act. For a dog that has gone to the bathroom many times in a certain area without anyone telling them not to (at the split second they are doing it), then in their mind….there is nothing wrong with going to the bathroom in the dining room. So when you go outside, they are more than likely focusing on other things like sniffing, playing, running, etc., and when they get back inside and you turn them loose again, they calm back down and remember that they need to use the bathroom, so they calmly walk into the other room to their indoor bathroom and go.
Why does my dog use the bathroom in their crate?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:42+00:00
This is a tough one, and it dramatically impacts the ability to house train a dog. It is a natural instinct for a dog to desire to stay clean, so if it will go to the bathroom in the crate and lay in it consistently, then there is good chance your dog has suppressed his natural instinct to stay clean. Other possibilities are sometimes owners put too much bedding in the crate that soaks urine up, so the dog can actually urinate in the crate and not have to “lay” in it. Sometimes the crate is way too big, also allowing the dog to urinate on one side and hang out on the other. Sometimes anxiety about being in the crate, whether that is from containment phobia or bad association of the crate, can cause urine or bowel movements.
Why does my dog bark furiously at another dog when on leash, but off leash will play happily?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:46+00:00
Dogs are born with levels of drives: prey drive, food drive, play drive, social drive, and even fight drive. Typically dogs that exhibit this behavior, have high social and play drives, so in human terms that would be a “physically active extravert”. What happens is these dogs are out walking on a leash with their owner, and they see another dog walking down the street or at the park. The dog will typically pull forward, cry, moan, and exert many signals that they want to go interact. Typically, if the owner is out for a walk, they keep walking and ignores the dog’s request for social interaction. Over time this unanswered request (from a dog that desires it badly) becomes very frustrated, and when a dog becomes frustrated they typically start barking and growling. They also associate this frustration with the leash. Over time this can become habit without even thinking. When they are off leash, that same frustration has not manifested because typically owners have dogs off leash when they are allowed to play. (Please understand that the answer to this problem is not to let your high social drive dog run up to every dog he sees because that can be dangerous. Allowing your dog to meet his social needs in a safe way while providing the proper structure will resolve this). Other scenarios that can cause this behavior is a dog that has been attacked on leash, so they (out of fear) expect a fight, so they go on the offensive to push dogs along verses waiting to see if they are going to invade his space.
Why is my dog aggressive toward children?Kevin Dockman2019-08-28T03:37:50+00:00
Similar to other types of aggression, it is very important to understand that the root of this type aggression is fear (not hate). Many dogs that are aggressive toward children have had very little exposure to children in their life. In our baby prep book, we show moms and dads a photo of a weird animal that very few people have seen before. Then we ask them, what would you do if this animal suddenly appeared to live in your home? Would you be nervous? What if it walked right up to your face and touched you? When you have been living in this world for a number of years, and developed a sense of “normalcy”, and this happens for dogs too. So when something they do not understand is suddenly placed into their life that looks different, acts different, and sounds different it seems odd, out of place, and makes them nervous. When many dogs get nervous, they revert to aggression if their nervous signals are ignored. Other scenarios that contribute to this behavior are a dog may have bad associations of children that could stem from something as simple as children not respecting and recognizing their uncomfortable signals and need for space by touching and hugging way too soon. This is hard for some humans to understand why a dog would bite a child that was just trying to pet them, until we show them the scary weird looking animal and ask them what they would do if it tried to touch their face? Typically these type dogs warned many times that they were uncomfortable, but adults and kids consistently ignored the signals, so the dog resorted to aggressive actions and over time go straight to aggression, because why give a signal that everyone ignores. Another scenario is a dog that has an identifiable incident/s that resulted in a bad association with children like stepping on his tail accidentally numerous times or abuse on purpose by ignorant children, the dog will associate this with all children instead of specific ones.
I have an older dog who has never received formal training. Is it too late to teach him some new tricks?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:24:02+00:00
You started teaching your puppy the day you got her. It is extremely important that we are clear with a puppy from the start as to what we want them to do and what we don’t. You can start formal training as soon as your puppy has her second round of shots.
How long will it take to train my dog?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:10:47+00:00
In order to know how long it will take to train your dog we will need to do a free consultation. During your consultation we will get to understand what you are looking to gain form the training as well as evaluate your dog to see what we will need to do to get him where you would like him to be. At that point we will be able to give you a timeline for his training.
How much does it cost to train my dog?Darlene Kister2020-09-24T18:20:18+00:00
We do not have a one size fits all approach to training. Each dog owner team that has a free consultation will have a customized program designed to fit your specific needs. Because of this individualized system pricing varies.
My dog barks at everything that moves, including birds, leaves, and the mailman. Can you help?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:11:04+00:00
Barking due to over stimulation and lack of impulse control is one of the most common issues dog owners face today. During your consultation we will diagnose the problem areas and set up a program to solve your dogs barking issue.
We have an electric fence, but my dog runs right through it to chase the neighbor’s cat. Can you help?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:11:13+00:00
The electric fence can be a great tool but if your dog has gone through it on a regular basis it becomes useless. When we do your free consultation we will evaluate your dogs understanding of the fence. At that point we will either adjust his understanding or give you new tools to create the same behavior of not leaving the yard without permission.
Most dogs seem to naturally get along with other dogs. Not mine. Can you help?Darlene Kister2019-08-28T03:11:18+00:00
Dogs that are reactive to other dogs are this way for many different reasons. These range from aggression to fear, we will find out where your dogs reactivity is coming from during your free consultation. We will then set up a personalized program to address the issue.
I would like to take my dog to the park without a leash, but she always wants to run off after squirrels. What do I do?Darlene Kister2016-11-03T04:04:30+00:00
If your goal is to have your dog off leash in any situation it is extremely important that you train your dog in a clear and consistent training system. We would be more than happy to get your dog off leash after we sit down with you and evaluate your dog to see what we will need to do for her during your free consultation.