How to take a “SAFE” road-trip with your pooch

BEST DOG ON THE BLOCK  Dog Tips 

 

How to take a “safe” road-trip with your pooch.

by Mark Siebel – Owner – DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training

 

So, you just finished watching “Driving Miss Daisy” and you want to take your new puppy for a road trip.  GREAT!  But remember, driving is hard enough when you are trying to concentrate on other drivers, pedestrians, stray Javelinas, trying to text, and NOW an energetic puppy!  It’s okay to take your dog with you on your travels, but safety must always prevail.  To ensure you get to the dog park in one piece, follow the below simple tips:

 

1.                    Dogs belong in the back seat.   Your dog must learn that they come second BEHIND you, the “pack leader.”  By keeping your dog behind you in the car, you are reinforcing the pack order that human is first and dog is second.  Therefore, keep Fido in the back seat.  There are doggie seat belts available from your local pet store, OR use a “stay” command to keep your dog from coming into the front seats.

2.                    Restricted access to windows.   Besides eating and walking, a dog’s next favorite activity is putting their head out a car window!  Not only does this cool them off, but their strong sense of smell cause them to be mesmerized by thousands of new odors rushing into their noses!  With this said, safety is still of utmost importance.  Only lower the rear windows enough so the dogs head can stick out, and then LOCK the power window controls to restrict the windows from accidently lowering or raising any further.  NEVER have a dog in the rear of a pick-up truck unleashed.

 

Taking Fido for a car ride can be fun.  Just remember that “safety” is always the main priority when traveling with your dog.

 

Mark Siebel has trained over 500 Arizona Valley dogs, has dog training tips published monthly in various AZ magazines, appears on NBC Arizona Midday & ABC Sonoran Living, speaks regularly with local schools youth groups about the importance of dog safety and ownership, and donates time to kids who want to learn more about dogs.  He is a member of APPSA (Arizona Professional Pet Sitters Association) and ASC of Arizona (Australian Shepherd Club of Arizona).  Mark owns (2) Australian Shepherds named Leinie and Kugel.  Voted 2008 runner-up “Best Dog Trainer in Phoenix” by SonoranTails Pet Magazine.  For more information or general dog questions, go to:  http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/index.html or call Mark @602.318.0122.

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Unconditional Love? Take some advice from your dog.

BEST DOG ON THE BLOCK  Dog Tips 

 

Need a change in your personal relationships?  Take some advice from your dog.

by Mark Siebel – Owner – DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training

 

As a dog trainer in the Valley for over four years, I have yet to meet a customer who doesn’t display an overpowering connection, passion, and love for their dog.  Sure, they say that a real man doesn’t cry, but the love that he displays for his dog is worldly.  The closest thing to unconditional love from a dog, is the love a mother has for her child.  We joke that “dysfunctional” families have disputes that often seem as if they CANNOT be resolved.  The love from a dog lasts forever and is truly unconditional.  To ensure your wife doesn’t pick the dog over YOU for movie night, follow the below simple tips:

 

1.                    Listening is the KEY to communication.   A dog’s best sense is scent.  What is a human’s best sense?  Who really knows?  Dogs act on instinct where human beings act on feelings and emotions.  80% of my job as a dog trainer is listening, and the remainder is problem-solving and reassurance.  Having two ears and only ONE mouth should give us a hint!

 

2.                    Forgiveness and flexibility.   Have you ever known a dog to hold a grudge?  If so, for how long?  I have NEVER seen a dog at a dog park go home with ANOTHER owner!  Dogs are loyal and will remain with their original owner unless separated at the owner’s choice.  Don’t be so rigid with your loved ones.  It takes years to make acquaintances and only MINUTES to lose them!  Joy takes less energy than anger.  Forgive more and judge less.

 

Are humans designed for unconditional love?  Observe your dog’s behaviors and begin your path to find the answer to this question.

 

Mark Siebel has trained over 500 Arizona Valley dogs, has dog training tips published monthly in various AZ magazines, appears on NBC Arizona Midday & ABC Sonoran Living, speaks regularly with local schools youth groups about the importance of dog safety and ownership, and donates time to kids who want to learn more about dogs.  He is a member of APPSA (Arizona Professional Pet Sitters Association) and ASC of Arizona (Australian Shepherd Club of Arizona).  Mark owns (2) Australian Shepherds named Leinie and Kugel.  Voted 2008 runner-up “Best Dog Trainer in Phoenix” by SonoranTails Pet Magazine.  For more information or general dog questions, go to:  http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/index.html or call Mark @602.318.0122.

Holiday DOG Safety

BEST DOG ON THE BLOCK  Dog Tips 

 

Holidays and your dog.  How to make them happy and safe for all!

by Mark Siebel – Owner – DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly!  Another Holiday season has arrived.  The Holidays often bring new people, irresistible foods, and other temptations into our homes, and we need to be aware of the safety of our pets.  Dogs are curious by nature and their heightened sense of smell can many times get them into trouble.

 

There are numerous items around our homes during the Holiday Season from which we must be sure our dogs steer clear.  Every dog will have a different threshold level (based on breed, age, and weight), but it is best to try to eliminate ANY of the below items from our dogs reach to ensure strong health and safety:

 

1.                    Plants & Trees.  Poinsettias, Christmas cactus, hemlock, holly, ivy, mistletoe, balsam, cedar, juniper, fir, pine, avocado, geranium, marijuana, ferns, aloe, and tiger lilies can ALL cause irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and even death if ingested.  Try to spray the leaves or plants with Bitter Apple, or simply position the items out of the dogs reach.  For a festive tree, use the “LEAVE IT” command if you notice your dog chewing or smelling the branches.  Sap and needles can be hard for a dog to digest, and will most certainly be a cause for illness.  Consumption of ANY listed items in this article should be dealt with on a dog-to-dog basis.  Symptoms of serious illness include:  excessive diarrhea, not drinking water, and excessive vomiting.  If this happens, contact your vet immediately.

 

2.                    Food/snack items.   Many foods must be OFF limits to your dog. Be aware of the following items when cooking or if you take your dog to a friends home or public place:  *Chocolate (can cause Theobromine poisoning in your dog)  *Onions, grapes, raisins (studies have shown the skins of these foods to be indigestible by dogs.)  Even chewing gum has been shown to cause irritation to a dogs internal digestive systems. 

 

3.                    Miscellaneous items.   The following are a variety of items that can be found around your home  that can be toxic to your dog’s health:  Antifreeze, bleach, Tylenol, ibuprofen, watch batteries, moth balls, fabric softeners and other detergents, mouthwash, alcohol, and peach/avocado pits or other fruit seeds.  It is okay to vary a dog’s diet, but do it with quality meat kibble and fresh cooked, unseasoned meats only!  This will keep your dog interested in its own food and more eager to eat it.  DO NOT give scraps from the dinner table or your dog may begin to beg from you.

 

4.                    Good, common sense.  Dogs are carnivores, so their diet consists primarily of meat.  It should go without saying; don’t feed your dog Doritos or Mac Donald’s!  It’s okay to give your dog an occasional lick of your ice cream cone or a small piece of cheese, but use good ole’ fashion common sense when deciding what your dog should eat.  Also, given the sensitivity of most dogs digestive systems, a routine diet should be maintained. 

 

So, when you hear the Holiday dinner bell ringing, enjoy your feast o’ plenty.  Holidays bring out the best energy in humans, therefore making our dogs that much more comfortable and excited.  Pass me another double baked potato!  Just be sure that Fido is eating his dog food, and not your Angel Food Cake.

 

Mark Siebel has trained over 500 Arizona Valley dogs, has dog training tips published monthly in various AZ magazines, appears on NBC Arizona Midday & ABC Sonoran Living, speaks regularly with local schools youth groups about the importance of dog safety and ownership, and donates time to kids who want to learn more about dogs.  He is a member of APPSA (Arizona Professional Pet Sitters Association) and ASC of Arizona (Australian Shepherd Club of Arizona).  Mark owns (2) Australian Shepherds named Leinie and Kugel.  For more information or general dog questions, go to:  http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/index.html or call Mark @602.318.0122.

The “Off” Switch. How to bring “Calmness” to your dog.

BEST DOG ON THE BLOCK  Dog Tips 

 

The “Off” switch.  How to bring “calmness” to your dog.

by Mark Siebel – Owner – DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training

 

I often walk into customers homes to be greeted by their dog’s high energy, often resembling that of a NASCAR racetrack.  The living room couches and love chairs are actually being used as a race track!  I typically get jumped on and greeted by a choir of glorious barking.  A dog’s high energy is great, but when used in an unfocused channel, it can become unbalanced and destructive.

 

A dog’s energy is generally determined by the overall energy of the other animals and humans around it.  This is easiest to see when you have a multiple dog pack.  Within minutes, one dog can begin a flurry of excitement among all!   If your home has been turned into the Talladega Superspeedway, follow the simple tips below to restore harmony with your dogs:

 

1.                    Zip it.  My favorite calming technique is the verbal silencing command called ZIP IT.  This is a command originated by DOGGIE STEPS and is very effective in connecting with a dogs mind set to eliminate and silence barking.  I like to give my dogs a 5-7 bark limit.  After the 7th bark, I command, ZIP IT.  Once they have silenced, I praise with voice, affection, and possibly food.  In time, your pooch will adhere to the verbal address of ZIP IT and the reward that follows.

 

2.                    5 in 1.   For many of my high-energy/aggressive cases I always want to give the dog a “job” or “alternate” task to complete when it appears that the energy is escalating into an unfocused channel.  I teach agility commands to accomplish this.  5 in 1 is a term DOGGIE STEPS uses to channel a dog’s energy on a table command.  Find a raised platform (i.e.,concrete block or picnic table) and begin a command sequence with,  table (or up), sit, down, stay, and off.  There you have it!  Five commands in one exercise!  Not only will this exercise work your dog mentally and physically, but will offer you an alternate task when confronted with an unbalanced energy challenge.  When the 5 in 1 exercise is completed in a set of three or more reps, it can also be referred to as “increment” training.

 

3.                    Party’s Over.  In order to obtain control and encourage calmness in your dog, they must know when the “off” switch has been flipped.  As discussed with the “Zip It” command, your dog must have an understanding of the energy you are willing to tolerate.  Party’s over is a term I use when a dog play-time session has lasted long enough, and I now want to gain calmness within the pack.  When that time arrives, address your dog pack as “Dogs!” and command, party’s over!  Place your body in the middle of the dogs to illustrate boundaries.  If the dogs continue to play, bite, or chase, address your command again and continue your body blocks.  Over time, your pack will learn that a play session has now ended, and the “off” switch has been flipped.

 

4.                    The importance of the Release.  With many of the commands I teach (i.e., leave it/take, heel/go play), it is vital that your dog makes the connection with the appropriate release.  Once you observe increased calmness with the “Off” switch, you can now begin to release your dog for normal play energy.  I then use “go play” or “free” to signal my dog that they are now free to play or run.  

 

So, for all you NASCAR fans out there, let’s keep the high energy races on the race track and NOT in the living room!  Dogs are extremely perceptive to a pack leaders energy and will begin to mimic your presented calmness when need be.  Stay focused with these new tips, and you’ll be crossing the checkered flag in no time!

 

Mark Siebel has trained over 500 Arizona Valley dogs, has dog training tips published monthly in various AZ magazines, appears on NBC Arizona Midday & ABC Sonoran Living, speaks regularly with local schools youth groups about the importance of dog safety and ownership, and donates time to kids who want to learn more about dogs.  He is a member of APPSA (Arizona Professional Pet Sitters Association) and ASC of Arizona (Australian Shepherd Club of Arizona).  Mark owns (2) Australian Shepherds named Leinie and Kugel.  For more information or general dog questions, go to:  http://www.doggiestepsdogtraining.com/index.html or call Mark @602.318.0122.

Palin is the pits

I have a year and a half old female blue nose pit bull. I sit in fear every day that one more ignorant owner is going to bring the BSL down on my county. I already have to hide her to get home owners insurance!!!

Thanks Sarah for putting one more nail in our dogs coffins!!!

In light of all the ruckus over Sarah Palin and her ‘pitbull’ comments it’s no wonder she’s not doing interviews. I can see it now Palin showing up on Opera wearing a wolf fur trimmed outfit. (And that is another insidious story.)

This move by Mcain to bring her on still bewilders me his publisist had to know this was bound to happen.

Here’s my conspiracy theory for the night it’s all a ploy to get votes for the ‘anti-Christ’  Obama.:)

This dude is way too smooth for my radar.

Pitbull Owners Blast Palin

Pitbull Owners Blast Palin

Comparison ‘Offensive,’ Dog Fanciers Complain

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who famously compared herself to a pitbull in her vice-presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, appears to have antagonized a key voting bloc in the upcoming election, the nation’s pitbull owners.

While Gov. Palin’s assertion that the only difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull was “lipstick” drew a loud ovation from the Republican faithful in St. Paul, it raised the ire of the Pitbull Anti-Defamation League, a powerful association of pitbull fanciers who monitor the portrayal of pitbulls in the media.

“As someone who has owned pitbulls for the past twenty years, my jaw dropped,” said Carol Foyler, the group’s executive director.  “Most of us are thinking the same thing: enough is enough.”

Ms. Foyler said that for pitbull owners who have grown weary of their prized dogs being defamed and mistreated, Gov. Palin’s wisecrack was the last straw: “We’re all like, first the Michael Vick thing, and now this.”

Tracy Klugian, an irate pitbull owner from Buffalo, New York, echoed Ms. Foyler’s sentiments: “I can think of many differences between pitbulls and Gov. Palin – for starters, pitbulls don’t try to get their ex-brothers-in-law fired.”

With Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill) and John McCain (R-Ariz) fighting for every last vote, a coveted voting bloc like pitbull owners could very well decide the 2008 election, political insiders believe.

While Gov. Palin was not available for comment on the pitbull controversy, a spokesperson for the McCain-Palin ticket offered this official statement: “Gov. Palin does in fact have one thing in common with a pitbull: neither is capable of answering questions from reporters.”

I had to pull the copy and paste deal on this article!!! I could not pass it up.

http://mudflats.wordpress.com

Check out Mark Seibel’s site…

http://doggiestepsdogtraining.wordpress.com/

He is top dog in our book!!!!