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.

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.