DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays From Alvin and Simon (Cockapoos, not chipmunks)!

This is the time of the year for the Chipmunks Xmas song, so Alvin and Simon listen to the song and perk up their ears. Alvin gets a wee bit agitated when the guy screams "A L V I N !"

It been a very busy month for the boyz - Simon suffered through neuter surgery and the ecollar embarassment at the beginning of the month. Also, both boyz enjoyed their first romp in the snow - see the pics below.

Both the boyz wish you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Try the FREE Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course!

Sent to your email, this course covers selected training tips and methods used in Secrets to Dog Training, the dog training "bible."

The Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course is absolutely free with no obligation. Click Secrets to Dog Training and scroll down a bit to register for the FREE 6-Day Course.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Read This BEFORE You Shoot With The Canon Rebel T1i

It doesn't matter if the main subject of your photography is pets or kids, you need to understand these 3 tips BEFORE shooting with the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera.

These tips will help optimize your camera's performance. The tips originated from customer reviews - people who know how to make the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera work for them.

The Best Video Card
With certain SDHC cards, the card can't keep up with the camera writes in record mode. The bigger the buffer bar shown by the camera, the slower the video card. Video recording will completely halt if the buffer gets too big.

Solve this issue with a Sandisk SDHC video card (8 GB). According to one Amazon reviewer, "with a Sandisk 8 Gb Extreme III card the video worked fine, no buffer bar at all."

An Extra Battery
The Canon T1i battery power will not last as long as a still-only camera. Get a camera battery grip that holds two lithium batteries AND also holds AA batteries if the lithiums dissipate. You'll never be without camera power!

Low Sharpness Setting
A few customer reviews addressed "soft shots," defined as pictures with lower than anticipated sharpness. Canon's default factory setting for sharpness is set to low. The customer who discovered the low setting had no problems after the setting was adjusted.

Hope these tips were helpful!

More About The Canon Rebel T1i
Interested in more Canon Rebel T1i capabilities? Find out more about its features and read customer reviews.

Is your favorite D-SLR application your pets? See these tips to shoot perfect puppy pictures.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Avoid Puppy Training Problems - Take This Action First

No matter how hard you try, you cannot train a puppy unless you get his attention first.

How Do You Get A Dog's Attention?
Try screaming at the top of your voice. That'll work a few times. OR you can save your voice and try the "Watch Me" command.

Have you ever seen a dog trainer like Victoria Stilwell use this command?

Follow These Steps
Get the pup to sit. Bring a treat up toward your eyes and say "Watch me".

When the pup makes eye contact (at first he'll look mostly at the treats), give him the treat.

Do it enough times and you'll hold the dog's attention when you say the command.

This simple command will help you avoid puppy training problems if you use it to get your pup's focus on you.

Learn the right way to train your puppy - use the dog training bible, Secrets to Dog Training.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Canon Rebel Revolution (or Rebellution)!

Each release of the Canon Rebel line of Digital SLR Cameras wins more Rebel devotees. The newest version, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera, represents a Rebel Revolution, or Rebellution.

What’s Revolutionary about the Rebel T1i?
Let's detail the Rebel T1i improvements over the previous Rebel XSi:

1. The resolution increase from 12.2 MP Rebel to 15.1MP.

2. The 3-inch LCD display resolution increase from 230k to 920k with live-action viewing.

3. ISO range increase from 100-1600 to 100-3200, expandable to a whopping 12800.

Now imagine a drum roll!

Couple these improvements with the BEST Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera feature – High Definition video capture, and Canon sparked a Rebellution!

More Canon Rebel T1i Features
Interested in more Canon Rebel T1i capabilities? Find out more about the T1i's features and read customer reviews.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ACTION Please!

This article is directed to people who love to take pictures. You know who you are – you carry a camera everywhere. You want the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera but cannot convince yourself to get one.

The Convincer

If you have pets or children, you probably shoot hundreds of cute shots. But sometimes, there’s something missing from the experience.

Here’s an example of what I mean - I have a small dog that communicates with a combination of sounds and facial expressions. It is frustrating to be unable to capture both the sounds AND the expressions.

With the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera, I could switch to full HD video and get the entire doggie communication. Then I can prove the intelligence of this precious pet!

What’s the Cost?

There is a price to pay when your camera also shoots video – power use! The battery power will not last as long as a still-only camera.

There’s a way to compensate – you get a camera grip that holds two lithium batteries AND also holds AA batteries if the lithiums are dissipated. You’ll never be without camera power!

Double Your Pleasure
The Canon Rebel T1i allows you to shoot quality stills AS WELL AS quality videos. It’s an outstanding tool for shooting events (weddings, graduations), pets, and children.

For those who bring the video and the camera equipment to an event, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera is the answer to your prayers for the simplest way to capture the memories!

More Canon Rebel T1i Features

Interested in more Canon Rebel T1i capabilities? Find out more about its features and read customer reviews.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Is It Worth $150 To Upgrade To A Canon EOS Rebel T1i From An XSi?

I'm biased - I decided long ago to upgrade to the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera.

It's well worth the money, especially during the holiday buying season when bargains abound!

The T1i's features - the new HD video, faster processor, and the improved low light shooting are well worth the price.

But if you're still "on the fence" about the value of this Canon EOS Rebel Upgrade, consider this comparison summary based on two different reviews:

Spec Comparison

DCRP Review: Canon EOS Rebel T1i

Bottom Line Summary:

While it's not perfect, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (also known as the EOS-500D) is a well-designed, compact digital SLR that takes good quality photos and videos. Whether you're just starting out or upgrading from an older Canon D-SLR, it's well worth a look.

See entire article.

Ezine Article
Bottom Line Summary:
All the features together collaborate to present the consumer market with a very well-balanced entry level DSLR that is versatile and easy to use, but at the same time has all the features necessary to provide the user with a wide variety of creative options.
See entire article.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How to Guarantee That Your Dog Learns the Most Common Obedience Commands

Would you like to guarantee that your dog learns the most common obedience commands?

This is much easier than you might believe!

Think carefully about the times you interact with your dog(s) during the day and see which of the common obedience commands you can incorporate into these interactions.

Here's a few examples:

1. You're bringing your dog in from outdoors. Ask him to Sit and Stay, and once you've walked through the door into your home, ask him to Come. Same commands going out the door, unless the dog really has to go!

2. Before you put his full food disk on the floor, ask for a Sit or a Down.

3. Your new puppy is shadowing you all over the house. As he's following you, stop, say Come, and lavish a lot of praise when the dog comes to you (and he will).

4. My pup Alvin gets an occasional ice cube to supplement his drinking water. I get him to lie down, put the ice cube a foot in front of him, and say Leave It. Once he looks at me, I say Okay and he gets the ice cube.

5. My other pup Simon is leased in the house sometimes because he's not fully housetrained. So we practice the Come command a lot.

What Happens When You Follow Through With These Activities?
I'm sure you can think of other situations where you can use these common obedience commands. Once you've reinforced these activities for a few weeks, they become part of the routine. Your dog will do them automatically.

You will find that it'll make life easier for you and you will have a well-trained dog in no time. As a new puppy owner myself, anything that makes life easier is a gift!

Learn More About Teaching Common Obedience Commands
Take a quick look at this Puppy and Dog Training DVD.

When you're faced with puppy training problems and need solutions FAST, you'll get answers from professional dog trainers in the Dog Training BIBLE, Secrets to Dog Training.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

3 Ways To Fix Your Picture-Taking Mistakes For FREE

These tips for taking digital photos address fixing some of the most common picture-taking blunders. Lots of people get a digital camera, neglect to read the manual, and then wonder why the results are less than satisfactory.

Yup, if the photo opportunity has past and you’re stuck with a so-so picture, fix it! Use these tips for taking digital photos to turn your blunders into almost-perfect pictures.

What You Need To Fix A Photo
You need a PC with photo-editing software that will perform a few simple functions such as crop, lighten, and adjust colors.

You can download easy and free photo-editing software that will edit, organize, and share photos. The best-rated free software is Google Picasa.

Your camera might have come with editing software. Load this software and see if it has the features to fix your photo.

Common Picture-Taking Mistakes
The photo you want is part of the original
Let’s say you took a picture of the members of a band during a concert, but you want a photo of the lead singer. Crop the piece of the picture you want and save the result. As long as your crop is fairly large, the new photo resolution will be okay for sending or printing.

Your photo is dark
As long as the photo isn’t too dark, you can lighten the photo with your editing software “brightness” setting. Save the brightened picture.

The photo colors are not true
Occasionally, photos taken in bright sunlight are too blue. Editing software will allow you to change the bluetones back to their true colors. The editing feature will be named something like “color adjustment” – usually there’s a slider to test the colors. You may be able to see the color change as you move the slider.
Once you adjust a few photos, you’ll discover it’s simple to do. And you have fixed your mistakes!

More Tips For Taking Digital Photos
Interested in a camera for shooting perfect pictures?
See the features AND reviews for the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera.
Its coolest feature is the ability to shoot High Definition videos!

Shoot a lot of pet photos? Make sure you consider these 5 Tips For Taking Digital Photos of Puppies and Dogs – Lighting, Focus, Angle of Shot, Fill the Frame, and Fix Your Mistakes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Puppy Training Problems? Be Sure To Take This Action FIRST

Does your pup react like this
when you give a command?
We call this expression "Alvin's Evil Eye."

Teaching a puppy requires a special temperament. As a rule, pups have the attention span of a flea and you can easily lose your patience if you’re not careful. It’s a good idea to sidestep bad habits before they start. Here are 4 ways to avoid puppy training problems:

The Most Important Thing You Must Do First
If you don’t do this one activity, you will end up BEING one of the puppy training problems.

You need to get and keep the dog’s attention. How? Well, for example, I’ve trained two puppies to sit at attention looking at me when I stand with my hands behind my back. Their expectation is that treats will follow if they do so.

I always mention the story from Yahoo Answers! The questioner implied that a puppy obedience class was sufficient training and could not understand why her pup was disobedient.

How about reinforcing the obedience training in everyday activities? Sit and stay are good commands to use before the pup gets his meals or a treat. If you get the dog to work a bit for a reward, he won’t forget the command.

Use The SAME Word(s) Each Time You issue A Command
Puppies get confused when the words command words change. Recall is a good example. Say the dog’s name and the word Come once. Not “Fido, come over here now” or “Fido, get over here.” “Fido, Come” is sufficient.

Take One Step At A Time
I once complained to a trainer that my puppy Simon would not respond to a verbal command for Down. As she watched me give the down command, she said “Give the command and then wait a few seconds before you do anything else.”

Apparently I was combining an action with the verbal command and really confusing the pup. And I thought he was stupid! Once I waited after saying the command and then lured the pup down, he learned quickly. I wasted a lot of time because I was teaching the command incorrectly.

Hope these ways to avoid puppy training problems were helpful. Be sure to get the pup’s attention as the first thing you do.

Bonus Tip
Most puppies bite and mouth. Make sure you correct this behavior while the pup is young. Check out this tip: Correcting Puppy Biting.

If you’re like most people with a new pup, you're dealing with training and behavior problems on a daily basis. AND you need solutions FAST. Find out how to address these issues in Secrets to Dog Training, the Dog Training "bible."

Friday, November 20, 2009

7 Ways To Publicize Your Puppy Pictures

Do you have an eye for taking photos? And your puppy/dog is your main subject?

Why not show off your pictures and possibly make a little money on the side? With this objective in mind, try some or all of these 7 ways to publicize your perfect puppy pictures:

1. You think your dog is the cutest dog ever (I do!). Enter him in a cute dog contest. Example at

2. Make a video on It's easy and free. Here's several examples: alvin and simon's videos.

3. If the photos are really good, publish them on a stock photo site such as You can earn royalties.

4. Post your picture to a dog forum. Here's one I recently posted because it's different: Dog Heads Magically Disappear.

5. Save the good ones on for easy access.

6. Post one on your PC desktop. Change the picture frequently.

7. Stage a contest on a forum or on Facebook for the best photo caption. People love to be creative.

Bonus Way To Publicize
What if you could take videos with your camera and post them on your web page, blog, or site.

The Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera shoots HD videos as well as 15.1MP stills!

Explanation of features and Canon Rebel T1i reviews.

Ask Santa for this camera as a spectacular Christmas gift!

Try These Tips For Taking Digital Photos of Puppies and Dogs

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Most Impressive Feature of the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera

I've shot thousands of wedding and puppy pictures with a Canon Rebel XTi. In a lot of situations, you wish you could take videos as well as still photographs. Turns out if I upgrade to a Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera, I can do both!
Can you imagine having the flexibility to switch from still pictures to video for these applications:

Let the wedding video photographer shoot the ceremony. You use the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera’s High Definition capability for interviews with members of the wedding party or for candid comments from the invitees. This significantly enhances the "journalistic approach" to these events that so many couples request!

Pet Photography
Taking still pictures of dogs challenges the most patient photographer. Having the ability to switch to video for the simplest actions (what trouble is he getting into now?) is an amazing feature.

Child Photography
Got kids? Stills capture the memories forever; video captures the action forever.

Like to see a summary of reviews for this camera? See Reviews and Highted Features of the Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera.

Happy shooting!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shooting A Perfect Puppy Picture Every Time

A few months ago, I wrote about 5 Tips For Taking Digital Photos Of Puppies. After shooting thousands of Alvin and Simon pics, I have several more tips for taking digital photos.

I'd say my objective is perfect puppy pictures. The first thing I need - a Canon EOS Rebel T1i EF-S Digital SLR Camera.

Why this camera?
Besides boasting a huge 3" live action screen and the ability to shoot in a bat cave without flash, this camera lets you take High Definition videos!

Yup - HD videos! Your phone takes videos - doesn't it make sense that a camera shoots stills and action? Especially for puppies! Or kids. They move ALL the time.

More about perfect puppy picture tips in future posts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Lies About Housetraining Your Puppy

Simon Sez:
"Housetraining Is Just Crap"

In a recent post, A Big Fat Lie About Housetraining Your Puppy, I mentioned the crate training lie - Crate Training Is Cruel. Lots of people believe this is a truth; they clearly have not seen crate training used correctly.

In my research about and recent experience with housetraining your puppy, I found several other untruths:

Housetraining is easy.
Sure, and so is pulling out your own tooth.

You can house break your puppy in 7 days.
Un huh - if you fall for this statement at face value, you also need to read Housetraining For Dummies.

A puppy house training schedule is worthless.
If you are housetraining your puppy, then you have a schedule in your head. Write it down so the rest of the family knows what you're doing.

You don't need to understand dog behavior
You need to understand something about people behavior to co-exist with people, so why wouldn't the same be true about dogs?

Find out more details about these housetraining lies - Five Lies About Housetraining Your Puppy.

Need quick solutions to house training problems, aggressive dog issues (biting, digging, jumping) and obedience training hurdles? Learn from the expert professional dog trainers in Secrets to Dog Training, the Dog Training “bible” at

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Worst Crate Training Screw-Up You Can Make

This set of crate training tips deals with the worst crate training screw-up – crating during the day for 8-10 hours and then crating at night. A lot of new dog owners buy a crate, become instant control freaks, and crate a young dog for 18 hours a day. 

And these owners think it’s the right way to use the crate! It’s not – this post explains the crate training tips to address this situation.

The Scenario
You work, so you put a new puppy in a crate all day. If you realize he won’t make it through the day, you get Uncle Fred or Neighbor Gloria to let him out in the middle of the day. 

When you come home, you let him out, feed and play with him a while, and then back into the crate so you can make dinner or go out. Then he goes outside before you retire for the night and back into the crate for the all nighter.

The Fallout

Whew! Wonder why the pup is a raving maniac when you let him out of the crate?

And a word of caution – what do you think is happening to the 18 hour a day crated puppy’s muscles? Muscle atrophy and weight gain can happen quickly!

Crate Training Tips For Reducing Crating Time
Here are three suggestions to reduce crate time:
  1. Exercise the pup before he gets crated for the day and the night. Half an hour twice a day is a good benchmark. Let him run, fetch, and play. 
  2. Ask Uncle Fred or Neighbor Gloria to spend quality time with pup for an hour or so. If that’s too much of an imposition, hire a dog sitter for the midday recess. Or do it yourself if you can make the time.
  3. When you come home, make the puppy the first priority for at least an hour. And leave him out of the crate until the overnight crating. Leash him to your belt loop if you have to.

Questions To Ponder
Ask yourself this question – how long would you feel about being imprisoned 18 hours during a 24-hour period? 

And if you think 18-hour crating is okay – WHY did you get a puppy?
These crate training tips will help you reduce crating time by a few hours. Hopefully, both you and your pup will benefit.

Find more useful information about Crate Training:
Crate Training Tips
More Crate Training Tips - 5 BIG Mistakes You CAN Correct
Also, if you’re dealing with puppy training problems and need solutions fast, learn from expert professional dog trainers in Secrets to Dog Training, the Dog Training “bible."

Puppy picture courtesy of Captioned as follows:
"See -- this puppy in crate doesn't seem to mind it at all. Of course, that may have something to do with the crate's door being open.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Big Fat Lie About Housetraining Your Puppy

There are a lot of housetraining myths and some outright lies. My favorite is that using a crate for housetraining your puppy is cruel. The word "cruel" conjures up punishment and even torture. 

Unfortunately, there are people who use crates for puppy prisons. My guess is that puppy imprisonment is a matter of convenience and/or ignorance of dog behavior.

Used as positive tool for housetraining your puppy, a crate turns into a welcome place to sleep, a refuge, and a puppy source of comfort. Please explain how this use of a crate is cruel!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

6 Ways To Successfully Tackle Difficult Puppy Training Problems

Obedience and HouseTraining puppies can be difficult at best.

But when your pup walks on a leash without pulling OR stops biting your hands OR hasn't peed or pooped in the house for a week - you get to call yourself a successful puppy trainer.

Want to successfully train your pup? Here's six Squidoo lenses designed to make you a primo puppy trainer:

Correcting Puppy Biting For Good

Why You Absolutely Need A Puppy House Training Schedule

Puppy Crate Training Tips - Reality Crate Training With Pups

More Crate Training Tips - 5 BIG Mistakes You CAN Correct

Leash Training Puppies - Why Preparation is a Must Do!

Improved Method For Leash Training a Puppy - Living Proof That it Works

Happy Puppy Training!


P.S. Do you know the best ways to stop puppy aggression like food guarding, jumping up on people, and digging (my favorite irritation!). Discover how to combat dog and puppy aggression.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Can You Resist The Whining Of A Crated Puppy?

Crate Training Tips – How To Handle A Whining Puppy

This set of crate training tips deals with one of the most annoying puppy training problems – the whining, crying, and possibly barking crated dog.

The Scenario
Suppose your about to go to bed. You’re tired, but you take your pup out for the last time. He does both duties. He willingly goes into his crate, but in a few minutes he starts whining. And after five minutes of noise, you take him out of the crate. Oops!

Who’s Training Who?
Obviously, you wanted him to stop - but when you remove him, yell, or talk to him, you’ve actually sent a powerful message – puppy gets owner’s attention when puppy whines.

Look at it this way – when you take him out of the crate, HE is training you. Now who’s really in charge?

Crate Training Tips For A Whining Crated Dogette
So here are the crate training tips to follow when a young canine whines in his crate:

1. As long as he has just eliminated AND he’s healthy (no digestive issues or urinary tract infection), let him whine. It may take some time, but he will tire and fall asleep.

2. Try covering the crate with a towel or sheet to achieve a den-like environment.

3. Leave the TV or radio playing – he’ll think he’s got company. If you live in an apartment, the TV may drown out the whining.

4. Be quiet – no talking to or yelling at the whiner. If your spouse complains about the noise, you can remind him or her who wanted the little monster!

5. If you really can’t deal with the noise, think about putting the crated dog in another room.

These crate training tips will guide you through a mini crisis – the whining crated dog.

Find more helpful information about Crate Training Tips – 5 Big Mistakes You CAN Correct at

Also, if you’re dealing with puppy training problems and need solutions fast, learn from expert professional dog trainers in Secrets to Dog Training, the Dog Training “bible” at

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Favorite Method For Leash Training A Puppy

On our walks, my two little dogs used to pull me around the neighborhood. It was embarrassing. I kept wondering how they trained me so well!

One day I goggled “leash training a puppy” and found lots of valuable info. I tried several methods, combined two of them, and introduced the Gentle Leader "collar" (see details below)to the older leash-pulling puppy.

After a week of using the improved method, the dogs were making noticeable progress. Several weeks later, the pulling is minimal, despite the fact that the worst leash puller took a leave of absence from leash training due to a digestive ailment.

What Methods Were Combined?
The first of the two methods in the combination is simple. When leash leash training a puppy, reward ONLY when you see a desired behavior – when the dog pays attention to the trainer.

The second method involves changing direction every 10 or so steps. Again, the dog MUST pay attention to the trainer. Otherwise, he’s going to be out of step AND get stepped on. It’s amazing how quickly an animal will adjust when the trainer takes charge.

Combine these two methods and practice at least once a day for a few minutes at a time. Practice before the dog eats so that the treats will complement the training.

Give this method a try! The leash pulling will disappear sooner than you expect!

A Few Words About The Gentle Leader
Using the Gentle Leader correctly allows the trainer more control over the dog’s pulling behavior. It also positions the neck collar ABOVE the dog’s trachea so he’s less likely to hurt himself when he pulls. It does require a short break-in period while the dog gets used to the nose strap.

My opinion is that the Gentle Leader’s training advantages far outweigh the break-in period factor.

Get Help With Your Puppy Training Problems
Leash training is one of the more difficult puppy training problems faced by dog owners. Sometimes you need expert help fast. Get the help you need from professional dog trainers at

FREE Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course!
Sent to your email, this course covers selected training tips and methods used in Secrets to Dog Training, the dog training “bible.” The Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course is absolutely free with no obligation. Click the link and scroll down a bit.

More Resources
See Leash Training Puppies - Preparation for leash training set-up tips.

See New Method For Leash Training a Puppy for more information about the new combined method for leash training.

If you need to see leash training in action: It’s PAWSible! Puppy and Dog Training DVD.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BEFORE Leash Training Puppies – Six Basic Questions To Answer

Why PREPARE for leash training puppies? Because – professional dog trainers consider leash training one of the most difficult obedience activities. And if these experts consider leash training puppies difficult, why not get started with the right tools?

FYI - on the right is a picture of Alvin demonstrating leash training. If your puppy does what he's doing, maybe you DO need to read this post!

If you’re still thinking, “Yeah sure – I need a dog, a leash, a collar, and a training area. Then, I’ll start walking and correct any inappropriate behavior like pulling.” Unfortunately, that’s old school dog training. It MAY work over a long period of time. It may NOT. Let’s try again.

Six Questions You Need To Answer BEFORE You Start Leash Training Puppies

You need the following items for leash training puppies. (Questions will be addressed, but you may want details – see the resources below for more information.)

1. A puppy or dog. Do you have one?
If you don’t got one, borrow one. You won’t regret it (well, maybe a wee bit, sometimes).

2. A leash, but how long and should it be retractable?
The standard six-foot leash is fine.
Professional dog trainers frown on retractable leashes for training.

3. A collar, but which kind?
You can use a standard collar, a body harness, or something called a Gentle Leader.

4. Rewards for the correct behavior. Which treats should you use for leash training?
Use treats the dog really likes. Sounds obvious, but if your dog’s not eager for the treat, the training will not succeed.

5. An environment. Where’s best to start - inside the house, outside, in an open field, etc.?
Start in an area where the distractions are minimal; for example, inside the house.

6. A method - when will you treat, how often, what's acceptable behavior and what's not?
The answers to these questions are dependent on the method you choose. First choose a method recommended by experts; you will find the answers in the method description.

Free Resources

Article: Leash Training Puppies - Preparation

Article: Improved Method For Leash Training A Puppy

Internet Search Engines (google, yahoo) use keywords such as leash training a puppy, leash training puppies, leash training a dog

You can HOPE your puppy or dog will develop into a well-trained companion or DISCOVER how to make it happen! Find expert guidance from professional dog trainers at

Try the free Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course!
Sent to your email, this course covers selected training tips and methods used in Secrets to Dog Training, the dog training “bible.” The Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course is absolutely free with no obligation. Click the link and scroll down a bit to register.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Puppy Training Problems – Correcting Puppy Biting For Good

One of the most persistent puppy training problems is biting and nipping. Young puppies bite when you pet them. They bite when you play with them. They don’t discriminate – they bite everyone. It's what they do.

If you don't stop them when they’re young, you'll have a harder-to-correct dog biting problem.

Picture your loving pet full-grown with a mature set of wolf-like teeth. You do NOT want this creature biting, nipping, and mauling you. Either the dog will end up in a shelter, or you will be covered in cuts and bruises.

Tackle The Puppy Biting Problem Now

Correcting a puppy’s biting is a two-step procedure.

First, when the little monster starts with the mouthing and biting routine, startle him with a loud noise either coming from you (a loud Errrr will do) or from you shaking a can full of coins.

By the way, if you’ve been told to squeal like a puppy when you get bit, go ahead – that will startle him too.

You need not get upset, just startle the pup into stopping his biting. By the way, this biting thing is only an issue for humans. The dog is doing the same activity he enjoyed with his litter mates.

The Next Step Is A Substitution

Once you surprise him into stopping the biting, he’ll probably look at you in total amazement. You immediately give him something else to bite – like a toy or a bone.

Consistency Is The Key

Repeat this startle and substitute act EVERY time the pup bites. Consistency is the key to success for correcting puppy training problems such as biting and mouthing.



You can HOPE your puppy or dog will develop into a well-trained companion or DISCOVER how to make it happen! Find expert guidance from professional dog trainers at

Try the free Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course!
Sent to your email, this course covers selected training tips and methods used in Secrets to Dog Training, the dog training “bible.” The Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course is absolutely free with no obligation. Click the link and scroll down a bit.

See more information about puppy training problems.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Puppy House Training Schedule - Why You Cannot House Train Your Puppy Without One

Have you ever tried going on a trip without directions to get to your destination? The same level of frustration occurs when you house train without a written schedule!

Why You Need A Written Plan
Three compelling reasons for using a puppy house training schedule are as follows:
  • The goal is to house break the puppy as quickly as possible. A schedule will help minimize accidents. The fewer the number of accidents, the sooner the dog will be house trained.

  • A puppy does not have the muscular maturation to hold his eliminations until he is about 16 weeks old. Before that, a schedule will help develop proper house training habits.

  • If there is more than one family member helping out, a schedule enables communication. It will also minimize finger pointing and assigning blame for accidents.

Activities You Can Plan
The major objection to a house training schedule – “I don’t know when the dog is going to pee or poop!”

Yes, you do – and here is a list of the times when you know the pup has to eliminate:
  • When he gets up in the morning.

  • After he eats.

  • After a nap (they are predictable).

  • After he plays or exercises for more than a few minutes.

  • Before he goes to sleep for the night.
Depending on his age, he'll need to go out at night (the formula is every (puppy age in months plus 1) hours). So a 2-month old pup will go out about every 3 hours over night. Don't be alarmed, this is only a guideline.

Now it’s up to you – jumpstart your dog’s potty training with The Perfectly Housetrained Puppy or leave it all up to the canine gods!


P.S. You can HOPE your puppy or dog will develop into a well-trained companion or DISCOVER how to make it happen! Click here to find out more.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Puppy Crate Training Tips - Ten Things NOT To Do When You Crate Train

You just got a new puppy or dog. You are very excited. You look up all the puppy crate training tips and information online. Your puppy is going to be house trained in 7 days or less. Uh huh!

Dream on - dude or dudette!

Let's look at these puppy crate training tips from another perspective. Listen to an expert at trying house training methods.

Five Things NOT To Do When You Crate Train A Puppy

- Use a crate that's too big for the puppy. Install the divider that comes with the crate. Otherwise, the pup will find a place to eliminate out of his sleeping area.

- Toss the pup into his crate on the first night without a proper crate to puppy introduction.

- Force a puppy into his crate.

- Remove the pup from the crate at the first sign of whining or crying.

- Leave a puppy crated all day and then crate him at night.

Five MORE Things NOT To Do When You Crate Train A Puppy

- Forget to take the pup out before you crate him over night.

- Refuse to drag your ugly butt out of bed when a 2-month old puppy whines, cries, and barks at 2 am.

- Tease a puppy in a crate. If you were imprisoned in a box, would you appreciate your captors poking at you through the prison bars?

- Scream and yell at a puppy that's crying and whining in his crate.

and my favorite of the puppy crate training tips that you should NOT do . . .

- Take the puppy out of the crate and put him in bed with you. You are asking for all sorts of puppy elimination where you sleep. Yuck!

Read 'em Again and Let 'em Sink In

Read these DON'T DO's one more time before you start crate training a puppy. Let them sink in. Then decide what to do at 2 am - put the pup in bed with you or put up with the noise?

Resources For Crate Training Your Puppy

You can HOPE your puppy or dog will develop into a well-trained companion or DISCOVER how to make it happen! Find expert guidance from experienced dog trainers at

More puppy house trainings tips.

Free Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course

Sent to your email, this course covers selected training tips and methods used in Secrets to Dog Training.

The Dog Training 6-day course is FREE with absolutely no obligation whatsoever.

Click and scroll down a bit. The Secrets to Dog Training 6-Day Course sign up box is on the right.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Training A New Puppy - Critical Topics To Understand

This post addresses 3 critical topics you will need to address when training a new puppy: correcting puppy biting, house training, and leash training.

These areas can be tough to handle for a new owner. There's a lot of information to digest.

The first two topics (correcting biting and house training) need to be tackled as soon as your puppy arrives in your home.

Correcting Puppy Biting
Biting and nipping are common puppy training problems. Correcting them is a 2-step procedure: stop the biting or nipping with a noise that will distract the pup, and then quickly substitute an item the puppy can bite, like a toy or bone.

House Training Tips
To expedite puppy house training, you may decide you want to use a crate. Here are two important puppy crate training tips:

  • Introduce your puppy to the crate before you actually crate him for a period of time.
  • Once the pup is crated for the night, do not give in to his whining UNLESS you suspect he may need to eliminate.

Another important house training tip - develop a written puppy housing training schedule. A schedule takes a lot of the guesswork out of the house training process and helps with communication among family members.

Leash Training
The third topic, leash training, is probably the most requested training subject in obedience classes. Even if you are attending obedience classes, it will be helpful to read about leash training. You may pick up information to ask about in the classes.

This topic can be separated into two sections: preparation and choosing a method for leash training a puppy.

Preparing for leash training puppies involves choosing the correct collar and the proper training environment to minimize distractions.

You can choose a leash training method by researchinng the internet, talking to a trainer, reading books by training experts, watching a obedience DVD, or actually taking obedience classes with your dog.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Dog Keeps Vomiting - What Can I Do?

When your dog keeps vomiting, there's not much you can do except call the vet or emergency clinic. Or so I found out last Friday night.

Friday’s Events
Alvin was lethargic all day, but was eating and drinking water. At 10:30 pm, he woke up from a nap and lost his dinner on the couch. I fed him water, a definite "should not do," because he vomited the water, too.

Over the next several hours he vomited about every half hour. I called the emergency dog clinic - they said to bring him to the vet in the morning or bring him into the clinic. The vomiting had stopped, so I opted to wait and call the vet.

Saturday’s Events
Saturday morning he vomited clear fluid. I brought him to the vet’s office. The vet suspected Alvin had eaten something that caused the vomiting.

Here’s how vets commonly treat vomiting in dogs

  • The vet took Alvin’s temperature – it was slightly elevated.
  • Alvin got a shot to arrest the vomiting.
  • He got water intravenously in the form of a bubble on his back because he was dehydrated.
  • He’s taking antibiotics.
  • The vet gave water and feeding directions.
  • The vet said that if he vomits again, stop all water and food and call the vet’s office. Subsequent vomiting may indicate some other condition; for example, an intestinal blockage.

As of this writing, he seems to be recovering. The real test is today (Monday) when he eats close to normal amounts of food.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wooly Bear Gets Groomed - Now Resembles Cockapoo Pup

Back from the groomers and took a few shots of Wooly Bear (Simon) and Alvin. Simon now looks like a Cockapoo puppy instead of a little bear. And for a dog who constantly wants to eat, he looks a wee bit puny. Must be the hair he lost.

Alvin's eyes really stand out after the grooming. You can tell he's half Bichon. What a difference. Now I have to learn how to get these looks after grooming.

The before pics are on this post.

The after pics are as follows:
Simon: Wooly Bear as a Cockapoo Puppy

Alvin: The Eyes Are The Best Feature


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We're Off to See the Groomer - the Gracious Groomer of Perfect Pets

OK, I said I wouldn't pay for a groomer again because it was so expensive. And it worked for several months with the DIY grooming except for one serious flaw - Simon looks like a miniature woolly bear. He does NOT appreciate the clippers or the scissors OR the nail trimmer.

The rationale is that since Alvin was groomed several times and seems comfortable with the grooming equipment, maybe Simon will too. Maybe not. We'll see.

This groomer is way cheaper than the mobile one, but I have to travel 20 minutes each way with Pupsky 1 and 2, both of whom like to puke in the car. They haven't christened my car yet.

Here's before pictures of the little monsters taken yesterday:

Here's hoping they both look much better tomorrow!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Obedience Training For Puppies - The Leave It Command

Alvin Demonstrates Leave It - The Cookie Is Left!
One of the most valuable commands in puppy obedience training is Leave It. If you add these words to your pup's vocabulary, you can prevent destruction of items of value and ensure your pup's safety.

As explained in the It's Pawsible! Dog Training and Puppy Training DVD, teaching the command is done in phases. (If you are unfamiliar with this instructional tool, it emphasizes basic obedience training for puppies and dogs.)

In Phase 1 of the Leave It command, your pup is on a leash so he can't get the treat you want him to wait for. You (hopefully) can forget the leash in Phase 2. And in Phase 3, not only is he off leash, but he has to do something else before he can get the treat. See Puppy Training Tip - The Leave It Command for details.

Alvin's trained to Leave It. He demos the command in the VID here.

Simon's too much of a chowhound - he's still on leash, but I see the encouraging signs of less strain on the leash and more restraint on his part.

My experience is that although the Leave It command takes a while to perfect, it's worth the effort. Say the command at the right moment, and your obedient pup will literally Leave It (alone). If it's something dangerous, like scissors or a knife, you've saved the pup from injury. If's it's a dangerous substance, like a prescription pill, you've saved a trip to the vet.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Counterpoint: Best Dog For Retirees - Mixed Breed or Purebred? Shelter Dog Or Puppy? Blog: Money discusses the best dogs for retirees. It's strange that the blog mentions pure breed dogs only, but the printed version adds "any mixes of these breeds are great."

So what IS the real recommendation, Mr. Daughtery? Why leave out an important point? Mixed breeds can easily meet the needs of retirees. For example, how about a cockapoo, a dog that can combine the best attributes of a poodle and a cocker spaniel? See this post for Why Cockapoos Are THE Best Designer Dogs.

Could You Resist Simon, the Cockapoo Pup Pictured Above?

And one other point. Although I initially agreed with Mr. Daughtery's panel of experts about a retiree getting an adult shelter dog versus a puppy, I wonder what prompted this statement. An adult shelter dog can be just as time-consuming as a puppy and may be harder to handle. It's harder to bond with a misbehaving adult dog than with a cuddly puppy.

Comments Please!


P.S. Here's an effective obedience training DVD for a retiree with a new pup -
It's PAWSible! Dog and Puppy Training DVD.

See my review of this training DVD.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ten Reasons Why COCKAPOOS Are The Best Designer Dogs

Simon Sez:
"I'm a young mixed breed dog, a Cockapoo.
I look a lot like my dad Spotty,
a Cocker Spaniel."

What is a Cockapoo? No, it's not a vulgar expression, but a mixed breed dog. If you mate a cocker spaniel (American or English) with a Poodle, the result is a Cockapoo. For the most part, the size of the poodle determines the size of the offspring.

According to the Wikipedia definition of cockapoo, breeders usually choose a toy or minature poodle as one parent. On average, a full-grown Cockapoo weighs 12 to 24 pounds and stands 10 to 15 inches.

Most people think designer dogs represent a recent trend that eventually will fade away. But Cockapoos have been bred since the early 1940's. Contrary to what most designer dog naysayers believe, this mixed breed dog is not a fad.

Here's ten reasons why Cockapoos are the best designer dogs:
1. They can be small dogs (toy poodle/cocker spaniel combination), but not so small you can easily step on and hurt them.
2. They are all different - one might look like a poodle, another more like a cocker spaniel.
3. They are sweet dogs. And they are truly affectionate dogs. Maybe not necessarily lap dogs, but certainly owner-loyal.
4. If you are allergic to dogs, you probably won't react to a Cockapoo pup. Their coats are hair, not fur.
5. They love people and will wiggle their butts when their owner walks in the door and when they meet people on the street.
6. They are easily housetrained (relative to other types of dogs) and obedience-trained.
7. They are extremely photogenic (and easy to photograph).
8. They are energetic and playful.
9. People have a good time guessing what mix/breed they are. Alvin is a Bichon Cockapoo and looks a lot like a Bichon Frise; that really confuses some people.
10. You meet a lot of people when you walk your cockapoo pup!


P.S. Here's an effective obedience training DVD for your Cockapoo puppy or dog -
It's PAWSible! Dog and Puppy Training DVD.

See my review of this training DVD.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Read This BEFORE You Get A New Puppy Or Dog

This post is written by the frustrated owner of 2 puppies, 8 months and 4 months old. Honestly, I would never give up these dogs. They're adorable, sweet pups.

On the other hand, when they've both peed on the rug, like this morning, I wonder if I'll ever have 2 housebroken dogs. Or if they'll ever walk on a leash without pulling. Or if both of them will sleep through the night.

I won't give up. There is no giving up in dog training. They will be housetrained and (relatively) well-behaved dogs.

So, before you get a new puppy, think about the time and effort you'll need to invest in training and caring for your new pet. It's worth every second, and your investment will return positive results. AND it won't happen overnight. Or over a few months.

Best of luck with your new pup! Be patient! Be consistent! Be calm!

Here's an effective obedience training DVD for owners with new puppies or dogs.

See my review of this training DVD It's PAWSible! Dog and Puppy Training DVD


Monday, October 12, 2009

Two Puppies or Three?

I have two Cockapoo pups, Alvin and Simon.

Where did the dog in the middle come from?

Seriously, sometimes Alvin and Simon look like stuffed animals, but even I did a double-take on this photo.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

'Tis the Season For Canine Lyme Disease

As I was sweeping the leaves off the deck after a recent rain, I remembered the vet tech's warning - fall is the season for ticks - Simon should be vaccinated against Lyme disease. Alvin already had the vaccination in the spring.

I haven't found any ticks on either dog since last spring. But as soon as they start playing in the leaves, the potential for a deer tick bite (and possible Lyme disease) increases exponentially. Also, the deer ticks are the size of a sesame seed - how am I supposed to find one in thick Cockapoo hair?

Both dogs are protected by Frontline Plus, but all that means is the pesticide kills ticks within 48 hours of landing on the animal. It still can attach to the skin and bite.

And if you think because you live outside of Connecticut, you don't have to worry about Lyme disease (named after a town in Connecticut), you best re-evaluate that thinking:Map from

Guess Simon and I best be taking another trip to the vet's office!


Friday, October 9, 2009

COME Command Not Working? Solution: The Recall Game!

Does your dog look the other way when you say Come?
(This is Alvin's modus operandi)

RECALL This! I Ain't Moving.

Or does he run happily to you EVERY time you use the Come command?
(This is Simon's modus operandi)

So what happened so that one dog ignores the command and the other enthusiastically bounds to you every time you issue the command?

DRUM ROLL please!

Training of course! And taking advantage of puppy shadowing. And playing The Recall Game!

How can you find out about The Recall Game? On a dog forum! Many dog forum threads are fluff, or drippy, or spam. But on occasion, a thread will communicate a workable idea.

The Recall Game is such a post. It's a step-by-step explanation of how to get your dog to come every time, no exceptions. Best of all - your dog will love playing this game!


P.S. Always remember (and never forget) to check out the "Bible" of Dog Training, the best-selling Kingdom of Pets Secrets To Dog Training:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Obedience Tips From the Certified Dog Trainer

Simon Sez: "But I AM Down"

Yesterday was the third puppy social Simon and I attended. We both gain from these events. He socializes and I learn from the trainer-in-charge who held an informal mini-class for the owners.

Here's the tips I picked up from the social:

Instant Down Command
You want your pup to lie down without a hand signal. Say the word Down BEFORE you lure the dog into a down. Saying Down as you lure doesn't work. The action requires a lot of repetition.

Training Food
I'm using hotdogs as training treats. Problem is - Alvin and Simon are refusing their normal meals of kibbles - they expect hotdogs at meal time.

The trainer's comment was a simple "They won't starve themselves. They'll learn that meal time doesn't include hotdogs." In other words, don't worry about it!

Train Stay and Come As Separate Commands
I got into the habit as requesting a Stay followed by a Come. I noticed the dogs' anticipation of Come after a Stay. They both start moving to the expected reward.

These two commands should NOT be coupled to avoid the reaction I noticed.

These training tweaks are incorporated into the do-it-yourself DVD and Dog Training Guide I've been referencing (see Time To Check With The Experts), but I've been ignoring my own advice! Duh!


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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In the Moment - Dogs Are Truly Opportunists!

After caring for two puppies for the past several months, I've discovered they can teach you something new every day.

Dogs use their senses to take advavantage of NOW and enjoy every second of it. They do not worry about what happened the day before or what'll happen tomorrow. The only second that counts is this one!

In this series of pictures above, Alvin initially plays with the ball and then bites into it. Of course it deflates. But he is an opportunist, and he and Simon turn the delated ball into a tug-of-war toy.

Wow - people can learn a lot just by observing dog's in-the-moment behavior!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

When Did Dogs Learn How To Untie Knots?

Today we went on a Memory Walk for Alzheimer's at a park on the CT shoreline. We gots shirts. The boys Alvin and Simon got bandanas with a seashore theme. And we helped the Alzheimer's cause.

The boys met a lot of new dogs and people, walked in puddles, got dirty, thirsty, and hungry. Both were exhausted when we got home, but woke up several hours later ready to roll.

They went outside to do dog stuff like eat grass and chase balls. Somehow, Simon (Houdini) managed to untie the bandana around Alvin's neck. Since when do dogs untie knots? The bandana became the new tug-of-war toy. Is this a new dog magic trick?


Friday, October 2, 2009

Leash Training Tips From Certified Dog Trainers

In a recent post ( I explained the Gentle Leader as a tool for Leash Training.

But I had to temporarily postpone Alvin's Gentle Leader training due to a muzzle scratch. So I asked the puppy social leader (a certified trainer) how to train with the regular collar. She explained that leash training requires patience, time, and a highly desirable reward for positive behavior.

OK. Time I have. Patience is wearing thin. A highly desirable reward for positive behavior - can do. What's highly desirable? It's dog dependent and both Alvin and Simon love hotdogs. Yeah - it's baloney and not the best food. Another choice - pieces of chicken.

The leash training concept is easy in theory - reward ONLY when the dog walks by your side with a loose leash. Stop walking when the dog pulls or lags behind. Train inside your home first (or a location with no distractions). Then move outside.

Both my dogs respond to this training (with regular collars). I've already moved to random rewarding. Next week I will return to the Gentle Leader for Alvin, and for now, continue with the trainer's recommendations.


Ping blog

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bored Dogs Bark, Dig, and Chew Excessively

Maybe you've seen the destructive caused by a bored dog - chewed rugs, coffee tables, chairs or the hole to China in your back yard.

A bored dog lives in a kennel in the house behind ours. He barks constantly and at all hours of the day for no reason at all. You may get complaints from your neighbors about your dogs.

Obviously, the barking dog's owner needs to re-direct his dog's energies. How? Toys are one answer. You can read the article excerpt below to find out what toys to use.

Another possibility is a product recommended by a super pet store manager when I asked about bones. He suggested a product called a bully stick. You can read about this alternative below. Be cautious with this one - supervise the bully stick consumption!


Paraphased Excert from Article by Stephanie Hetu,
Dogs experiencing boredom may have different types of behavioral patterns. For example, some dogs bark continuously and some dig holes or chew your furniture.

There are many ways to provide mental activity for your dog. Toys are available which stimulate the dog. These may be kept inside the crate and in particular, puppies love these items. A BusterCube with treats may be placed in the dog’s shelter and the animal soon understands how to roll it to get the treats it prefers.

These actions will help eliminate the boredom-like activity in your dog. Activities pertaining to boredom need to be redefined by dog owners. This will help to re-direct the animal's unwanted behavior patterns.

For example, some dogs will bite chair, cloth, mats, and anything else they can reach. After ruling out a puppy teething problem, provide the dog with some large sized balls, mineral mixture based bone materials, etc. Be careful that the material (plastic bottles create sharp edges) won't hurt the dog.

BusterCube Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

The BusterCube gives dogs the mental stimulation, exercise and relief from boredom they need to stay healthy and content. Durable plastic cube is designed to be filled with bite size dry pet food. The food is then released at an adjustable rate as the dog rolls the cube with his nose or paw. You regulate the level of difficulty.

Redbarn 7 inch Bully Sticks - 6 pack

Dogs love the rich, meaty flavor of Redbarn Bully Sticks and the extended chewing action helps to clean away tartar and plaque from their teeth. Ingredients: Meat By-product. Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min) 80.0% Crude Fat (min) 1.0% Crude Fiber (max) 1.0% Crude Ash (max) 2.0% Moisture (max) 15.0% Calcium (min) 0.8% Phosphorous (min) 0.4% Shelf Life: 36 months Made in the USA.