Training classes for young puppies are also an excellent way to socialize your new puppy to a variety of people, dogs, and other stimuli in a controlled environment. In addition, you will learn how to prevent problems before they can begin, or deal with them as they emerge, rather than having to find a way to correct problems that have already developed. Your puppy might also make some new friends of the same age. You could then visit these friends (or vice versa) with your puppy for social play and exercise sessions. Since the primary socialization period for dogs ends by 3 months of age, puppy socialization classes are most valuable for puppies 8 weeks of age and older. If all puppies in the class have had initial vaccinations, are healthy and parasite free, the health risks are low and the potential benefits are enormous. Discuss the location of classes in your area and when to start them with your veterinarian.

Puppy training mainly focuses on socialization and basic manners, and thus fits well into a small-group training model. Puppies will learn to be friendly around other puppies and humans, and they will learn familiarity with the leash. Beginner and intermediate obedience classes are usually taught in a group training setting, wherein 5-10 owners and dogs learn basic to medium commands (sit and stay/down/heel). The group setting is recommended because it teaches dogs to ignore other distractions--whether they be dogs, humans or peripheral noises.
There is no conclusive evidence showing exactly why dogs develop separation anxiety. However, because far more dogs who have been adopted from shelters have this behavior problem than those kept by a single family since puppyhood, it is believed that loss of an important person or group of people in a dog’s life can lead to separation anxiety. Other less dramatic changes can also trigger the disorder. The following is a list of situations that have been associated with development of separation anxiety.
Obedience training really is not for the dog... it's for YOU. This training teaches you how to communicate what you want your dog to do in a way that he understands. If you send your dog to someone else to train them, they learn to work with that person, not you. Take the time to learn how to train your dog, don't pass the responsibility off to someone else. In some cases, you may need to have your dog learn the basics from someone else. But then, you should have the trainer work with you AND the dog together. This will make sure that you have the ability to continue the training at home. Check back in with the trainer for “tune up” sessions for you and your dog to keep everyone on track.[13]

Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.
You know your dog better than anyone else. You know when they are relaxed, you know when they are happy, and you even know when they are agitated after seeing another dog across the street. The point is, you should be able to spot any behaviors that are not common for your pup. Once these changes in behaviors arise, pay close attention to what may be triggering this to see if this is what’s causing them stress.
Dealing with dog anxiety? Barking, destructive tendencies, obsessive-compulsive chewing, going potty indoors—these behaviors can quickly make you crazy, and aren’t fun for your pup, either. Since it’s not practical to spend all of your time soothing your high-strung canine, we’ve rounded up some techniques, remedies, and secret weapons to help your anxious dog. From massage to training tips and even CBD treats, there’s something here for every dog.
When your puppy comes to you, don’t reach out and grab him. This can be confusing or frightening for some dogs. If your puppy is timid, kneel and face them sideways and offer him treats as you reach for the collar. Never call your dog to punish! This will only teach him that you are unpredictable, and it is a good idea to avoid you. Always reward your dog heavily for responding to his or her name, even if they have been up to mischief!
Providing lots of physical and mental stimulation is a vital part of treating many behavior problems, especially those involving anxiety. Exercising your dog’s mind and body can greatly enrich his life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal dog behaviors. Additionally, a physically and mentally tired dog doesn’t have much excess energy to expend when he’s left alone. To keep your dog busy and happy, try the following suggestions:
Strictly following the model set out in the Koehler Method of Dog Training, some 50 years later, the Koehler method continues to be taught in both class and private training formats. The method is based in the philosophy that a dog acts on its right to choose its actions. Koehler explained that a dog's learned behavior is an act of choice based on its own learning experience. When those choices are influenced by the expectation of reward, the behavior will most likely be repeated, and when those choices are influenced by the anticipation of punishment, they will most likely cease. Once the dog has learned that its choices result in comfort or discomfort it can be taught to make the correct decisions. Action→Memory→Desire encapsulates the learning pattern used by the method; the dog acts, remembers the consequences, and forms the desire to repeat or avoid those consequences. Adherents believe that once the behavior has been correctly taught, it should be performed, thus making any correction, fair, reasonable, and expected.[57] While the model has been used consistently since 1962, some of the punishment procedures described in the book are now not considered necessary, humane, or appropriate by many trainers.[23]
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Question— We have a 10 year old yellow lab. He has spent most of his life as an outside kennel dog with a nice warm house. In the winter he will be kept in the heated garage and on occasion come in the house. Then in the spring he will move back out. This past year he started crying by the front door and one night got very upset and started chewing on the front door wanting to come in. Now in the nice weather he no longer wants to be out in the kennel very long, ESP near evening. He will chew through the wire to get out. What is going on with him?

Be consistent. Your dog won’t understand what you want from him if his environment lacks consistency. Everyone who lives with your dog should understand and be on board with his training goals. For example, if you are training your dog not to jump on people, don’t let the kids allow the dog jump all over them. This will undermine all the training you’ve done.
Head halters are an alternative to collars that works similarly to a horse halter. The halter fits over the dog's snout and behind its head (leading it to sometimes be mistaken for a muzzle). Halters reduce the dog's ability to successfully pull on the leash, but do not eliminate it. If the halter is used with a sharp jerk on the leash, neck injury to the dog may result, but used correctly head halters have not been shown to cause harm.
During desensitization to any type of fear, it is essential to ensure that your dog never experiences the full-blown version of whatever provokes his anxiety or fear. He must experience only a low-intensity version that doesn’t frighten him. Otherwise, he won’t learn to feel calm and comfortable in situations that upset him. This means that during treatment for separation anxiety, your dog cannot be left alone except during your desensitization sessions.
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Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

After we have conquered the backyard, I take her on short but more frequent walks that are close to home. I live in a quiet neighborhood, so it works out well. I make sure to always stay calm and to always make our outings positive. I play Find-It and other games with my puppy so that she gets engaged with me, and learns to associate walks with rewards and fun.


I adopted a 2 year old female Boxer. She has been with me for almost a month. When I have my male friends come over for a visit, Cheyenne starts jumping on the friends, running around the back yard as if she is uncomfortable with my friends being there. I don’t have more than one friend over at a time. After my friends leave, Cheyenne will then relax. I am trying to introduce her to my friends slowly as she has been in a shelter and then at a rescue most of her 2 years of life. Do you have any suggestions>
Punishment or aversive techniques will do little to stop these anxious dog behaviors in the long-run, because punishment does not address the source of the problem, which is the dog’s anxiety. In fact, suppression of these displacement behaviors, through pain and dominance methods, will make the problem worse, because pain increases stress and uncertainty.

The idea of using treats to train is often equated with bribery. Truthfully, dogs do what works. If using treats gets them to do what you want, then why not? You can also use the world around you as a reinforcement. Every interaction you have with your dog is a learning opportunity, so when you think about it, you probably don’t use food very often except during active training sessions. So why does your dog continue to hang out? Because you reinforce him with praise, touch, games and walks. Just remember, the behavior should produce the treat; the treat should not produce the behavior.

Dinner time is often one of the hardest times to teach obedience to your puppy. He sees you as the pack leader eating a delicious meal and looks up at you with those big puppy eyes and you can't help but give in. This is where you have to be strong and avoid feeding him table scraps. This will help keep off unwanted weight and teach him that begging doesn't get him anywhere. Make sure the whole family follows this rule. Bad training behavior by one family member can derail everything you're trying to teach your pup.
Separation anxiety in dogs can begin as early as puppyhood. Many new dog owners, distressed when they hear their puppy crying at night, pick him up, cuddle him and generally fuss over him. The puppy is experiencing his first time alone and away from its mom and littermates, and it learns quickly that whimpering, crying or barking gets it attention. The puppy trains its owners to respond — not the other way around.
All private training and behavior modification services begin with a 60-minute in-home consultation and training session with an associated investment of $60.00 (plus trip fee if farther than 20-miles). During the initial consultation we will discuss the best options to achieve your training goals. After evaluating the situation, we will work hands on with you and your dog to implement a number of different training techniques and/or an appropriate behavior modification plan.
Learned helplessness occurs when a dog ceases to respond in a situation where it has no option to avoid a negative event. For learned helplessness to occur, the event must be both traumatic and outside the dog's control.[51] Family dogs that are exposed to unpredictable or uncontrolled punishment are at risk of developing disturbances associated with the learned helplessness disorder. Punishment which is poorly coordinated with identifiable avoidance cues or response options, such as when punishment takes place long after the event, meet the criteria of inescapable trauma.[41]
I know Sally’s normal behaviors and I’ve spent time with a professional trainer to learn how I can be the best pet parent to her. She’s seen wagging her tail a bunch in the video and she even gets her “show trot” going, which to me means she’s happy not stressed. Again, I appreciate your concern, but I can’t help but be a little on the defense since it feels like your comment is insinuating I am treating my dog poorly. Sally lives a pretty cush life. She roams the house freely, has the option to be outside whenever she asks, eats well, exercises regularly, gets plenty of snuggles and is rarely kenneled since I work from home. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and write up your comment.
Bringing a young pup into our lives is a big responsibility and commitment to fulfill. Our puppies have a long list of requirements and deadlines that must be met for their well-being and longevity. Tasks like puppy house training, crate training, puppy socialization, leash training and basic obedience need to be addressed right from the very start.
Are you ready to start training your dog? A proper dog training program is the cornerstone of good behavior in dogs. It has often been said that there are no bad dogs, only uneducated owners. Most dogs thrive with boundaries and predictable routines. Without obedience training, they simply do not know how to behave. Well-trained dogs are happier and healthier than untrained dogs, and so are their owners.
Readers, you can use treats to train and it doesn’t cheapen your relationship. Your dog loves you unconditionally, remember? It isn’t “bribery” any more than using toys, attention, etc. is bribery. I can’t tell you how many times I stepped on my puppy’s toes while he was learning to walk on a leash, and he still loves me. And even if it were, your dog (and you too) deserves the best quality of life you can give him, which means clear expectations and an enriching life, which requires good citizenship. If you have one of those dogs that isn’t food-motivated, you can still use positive reinforcement.
Last, basic obedience training isn’t just for dogs that compete in obedience, agility, or trick competitions. Obedience exercises are important for all dogs, especially high-energy breeds that need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Simple behaviors like sit, down, stay, come, and leave it are essential for a well-behaved pet. You can challenge your dog even more by teaching him more advanced behaviors like “go to place,” formal heeling, to roll over, etc. The old adage — a tired dog is a good dog — is not incorrect. However, a mentally and physically tired dog is even better.
Once you’ve taken some classes and your dog has mastered the necessary skills, you might decide to compete. There are three main levels of progression in competition: Novice, Open and Utility; with other steps in between to help build on the required skills. Find an event near you and then submit an official AKC entry form to the trial secretary or superintendent in charge of accepting the entries for the trial.
Puppy biting is normal and necessary. Puppies need to learn how to control the pressure of their bite. Allow the pup to bite your hands. When you feel pressure more than a light touch, squeal “Ouch!”, get up and walk into another room. This is how littermates play with each other. If one playmate bites too hard, the other yelps and walks away to lick its wounds. The biter learns to soften its mouth or risk losing its playmate. Loss of a playmate is more understandable to the pup than punishment.
Before you can train your dog to protect, he must first have mastered the basic commands, 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. If possible, you may want to work on training him to 'speak' or bark--and be quiet--on command. Your dog should also be well socialized with other people and dogs. This will go a long way towards helping your dog learn to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. Supplies needed for this training include:
Whining on the other hand is something you should never reward. When your dog whines and you go to comfort him, you are just reinforcing the behavior and he will continue to whine so you will come and comfort him. In this case, you will need to ignore your puppy whines — yes, it will be very difficult, but you will appreciate it when the whining stops and you can finally get a full night's sleep.
Hi! It’s been a while. Hope all your pups are doing wonderful! Looking adorable as always. My Shiba, Reptar, (now 4 years old) has recently developed a fear of thunder. He used to not be bothered by it and would sleep right through storms. Now he tries to bury himself in me, as if he cannot get close enough to me. Of course the excessive panting and shaking occurs simultaneously. I eventually put him in his crate and cover it with a blanket and he calms down and sleeps but will not go in there to be safe on his own in the middle of the night when this happens. Since this fear has developed, the thunderstorms in my area have only occurred in the dead of the night…2am, 3am, 4am….which makes desensitization and conditioning very difficult. If it were to happen in the afternoon or evening I could easily work with Reptar to teach him to be OK with it again. Nothing I do seems to calm him down though. Especially because I am also not thinking with a clear head at 3am. Does Sephy have a fear of thunder? How do you help her or do things like the thundershirt actually work? I feel like it would just cause more anxiety for a Shiba.

Great article, Kimberly. Thanks so much. I’ve been looking for info on no food training. I’ve had 5 dogs over the past 20 years, all rescues, all adults. The only one who has been food motivated is the one we got as a young puppy. I started training her right away w/ treats, which worked great for a couple months but I’ve noticed her responsiveness is decreasing as I decrease the use of treats w/ training (and we do a ton of training- adv obedience, tricks, agility and find it) so I’ve been looking for guidance on how to make the transition go more smoothly. Thanks again. Great info! Sally looks like a happy well loved dog.
Anxious dogs may also feel extra anxious when around other dogs or other people. It can take time for your pet to become acclimated to all the changes of being in your home. This can be especially true if you already have other pets living at home. Together they must “figure each other out” and find familiarity in their space. Until that happens, there can be extra moments of stress or anxiety for your pet.

Hi there does anyone have any ideas, I have a 11yr old Golden retriever who has odd for him behaviour. he has started looking very scared his ears go back & he looks sharply behind him as though something is behind him, he rushes from my husband then back to me seeming to want reassurance, he pants & does pluck the hair from his front leg, he finds it difficult to settle & paces around these attacks normally last for around half an hour, I have tried rescue remedy & a herbal tranquil powder. I have now also started using a pet remedy diffuser he sometimes has a few days of this behaviour then is fine for a few weeks then it happens again. he usually is a very calm placid boy & in his old age has slept a lot he takes pain killers for a back problem & he is fairly deaf can hear high pitch & a shout Thanks for any help Jan

Consequences must be immediate Dogs live in the present. Unlike us, they can’t make connections between events and experiences that are separated in time. For your dog to connect something she does with the consequences of that behavior, the consequences must be immediate. If you want to discourage your dog from doing something, you have to catch her with her paw in the proverbial cookie jar. For example, if your dog gets too rough during play and mouths your arm, try saying “OUCH!” right at the moment you feel her teeth touch your skin. Then abruptly end playtime. The message is immediate and clear: Mouthing on people results in no more fun. Rewards for good behavior must come right after that behavior has happened, too. Say a child in a classroom answers a teacher’s question correctly, gets up from his desk, sharpens his pencil and then punches another kid in the arm on the way back to his seat. Then the teacher says, “Good job, Billy!” and offers him a piece of candy. What did Billy get the candy for? Timing is crucial. So be prepared to reward your dog with treats, praise, petting and play the instant she does something you like.
this was very helpful.. we have had our shiba inu pup for nearly three months and he IS house trained although we do keep pee pads in the house in the event that i miss an outing and even then he will only use it for pees.. i am a stay at home mom with 2 kids and a cat and i find it difficult to keep a schedule, mostly because i am scatterbrained, but also because of our young ones.. but now our pup has been expressing stress anxiety, in the form of chewing up plastic toys that belong to the kids, toilet paper, or wooden anything, peeing in the house and barking, whining or crying if we leave the house.. we have tried to make him feel secure by getting him a kennel and keeping it in our room, so he can be near our smells.. i know he likes it because i have found him in there on his own just hanging out.. but the chewing and especially the peeing in the house isn’t getting better.. the most i try and establish, routine-wise, is playing with him one on one at night before we all retire to bed and walking him in the morning and at noon.. my husband chips in too.. but i was wondering if you could give me a little insight.. we are a military family, so we visit a lot and will have to move often, about every 3 years, so he will find himself in strange locations with strange people and strange smells isolated from his pack, we are also active in our community and our oldest will be starting school soon.. is it too much for us to expect our pup to adapt to all this? am i just going to have to look forward to more anxiety displays?

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Reach out to her on Twitter @ReinventingErin or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.


You must judge when your dog is able to tolerate an increase in the length of separation. Each dog reacts differently, so there are no standard timelines. Deciding when to increase the time that your dog is alone can be very difficult, and many pet parents make errors. They want treatment to progress quickly, so they expose their dogs to durations that are too long, which provokes anxiety and worsens the problem. To prevent this kind of mistake, watch for signs of stress in your dog. These signs might include dilated pupils, panting, yawning, salivating, trembling, pacing and exuberant greeting. If you detect stress, you should back up and shorten the length of your departures to a point where your dog can relax again. Then start again at that level and progress more slowly.

As you go about trying to train your new dog, you do want to keep several things in mind. First, the dog itself will have limits to what they can do and comprehend. You must respect these limits and not push them beyond. For example, a small puppy will certainly not be able to understand everything that an older dog will. Additionally, the puppy may not have certain skills that the older does. This may limit what they can initially do. On the other hand, an older dog may have trouble catching on to certain things, or may not be physically able to do some of the things a puppy can. Just try and get to know your dog and then respect whatever their specific limits are.

The most common form of anxiety is separation anxiety in dogs, which can occur when a dog is left alone for any period of time. Separation anxiety occurs when a dog or puppy develops a phobia from being left alone. Dogs suffering from this condition may develop behavioral issues and severe stress. Often, dogs who have been adopted from a kennel have either lost a loved one or have been previously mistreated, which has caused separation anxiety to surface later on when they’re older.
Prong collars (also called 'pinch collars') are a series of chain links with blunted open ends turned towards the dog's neck. The design of the prong collar is such that it has a limited circumference unlike slip collars which do not have a limit on how far they can constrict on a dog's neck. The limited traction of the martingale chain combined with the angle of the prongs prevents the prongs moving close enough to pinch. The collar is designed to prevent the dog from pulling by applying pressure at each point against the dog's neck.
In most cases, dogs will naturally bark when someone they don't know is approaching. You can put this to good use by teaching him when to bark and when to stop. Each time your dog barks at a stranger, let him bark 2 or 3 times and then tug on his leash and give the command "Quiet". When he does, be sure to give him a treat and praise him. This lets him know no when he should bark and when he shouldn't.
NOSEWORK (scent detection training): $300 – Are you looking for a fun, positive, and challenging game to play with your dog? Our Nosework program is designed to build your dog’s confidence while utilizing their keen sense of smell to detect odors! This program includes 5 private lessons. ***Be prepared to bring a high value reward to each session in order to motivate your dog to perform thorough and accurate searches.***
In competition obedience training, “heel” means the dog is walking on your left side with his head even with your knee while you hold the leash loosely. Puppy training can be a little more relaxed with the goal being that they walk politely on a loose leash without pulling. Some trainers prefer to say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of “heel” when they train this easy way of walking together.
The use of medications can be very helpful, especially for severe cases of separation anxiety. Some dogs are so distraught by any separation from their pet parents that treatment can’t be implemented without the help of medication. Anti-anxiety medication can help a dog tolerate some level of isolation without experiencing anxiety. It can also make treatment progress more quickly.
I found that looking for alternative ways to connect with Sally outside of food, such as play, life rewards, and affection, deepened our relationship. I also found that thinking about Sally’s behavior and our quality of life more holistically, outside of simple obedience cues, helped me address some overwhelming issues that I wasn’t sure how to tackle at first, such as getting and keeping her attention in distracting situations.
Once the source has been identified, your vet will then be able to devise a proper treatment plan. Now, this may vary greatly depending on the source. If it is just a phobia or fear, they may provide you with specific guidelines and recommendations on how to avoid the trigger from upsetting your dog. If it is something more serious, your vet will create a more tailored treatment plan depending on your dog’s individual needs and requirements.

We’ve had our German shepherd mix rescue since she was a puppy; she will be 11 years old in March, and has been the joy of our lives. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, she has started displaying signs we think are anxiety, and we aren’t sure how to proceed. Although she was never afraid of storms, in the last year she began trembling and panting during storms so much so that we purchased a thundershirt at the recommendation of our vet, with minimal improvement. We then noticed she would go up and down into the basement almost compulsively, recently staying in the dark in the basement for long periods of time. Now, she is climbing on furniture in a back room, which she has never ever done before, or she is hiding in a spare bathroom in a part of the house she was never allowed in formerly. She is panting and trembling almost constantly for no apparent reason, and we just don’t seem to know how to console her, or figure out what is wrong. She does seem to sleep at night, and seems relaxed when we awake in the morning, but before very long, she is panting and tembling again, and seems tormented. Do you think medication is needed or would help, or do you have other ideas? This all seems so sudden, and I am now starting to wonder if this is an inevitable part of her aging. Would sincerely appreciate any feedback you might be able to provide.
7. Find a shared interest. It’s okay to be disappointed that your dog doesn’t want to go to the dog park, agility trials or pavement cafés. Try focusing on what you guys can do together instead. Set up indoor obstacle courses, go on quiet wilderness hikes, take nose-work classes or just chill at home. Don’t try to force the dog you have to be the dog you wanted. In the end, you’re likely to make her problems worse, not to mention strain your relationship.
This includes the Off-Leash K9 Training E-Collar which all of our dogs are trained on, a 20 foot leash, and includes all FOUR lessons for $625.00 (or 3 monthly payments of $214.58). So you save $50.00 by paying for everything up-front! The e-collar we use has a two-year warranty, it is completely waterproof, and it has a range of 3/4 mile (1200 yards)! This will be brought to your first lesson along with the 20-foot leash! By the end of this package, your dog will be able to be outside, off-leash, with distractions listening on command.
Puppy training mainly focuses on socialization and basic manners, and thus fits well into a small-group training model. Puppies will learn to be friendly around other puppies and humans, and they will learn familiarity with the leash. Beginner and intermediate obedience classes are usually taught in a group training setting, wherein 5-10 owners and dogs learn basic to medium commands (sit and stay/down/heel). The group setting is recommended because it teaches dogs to ignore other distractions--whether they be dogs, humans or peripheral noises.
Once you have your puppy you must determine what you will need the dog to do for you in order to guide its training. Once this is established you can begin bonding with your puppy. This helps create a baseline for your dog to recognize when you are in a relaxed state and when you are beginning to experience anxiety – dogs are very intuitive so the right dog will pick up on this naturally.
 I started Take the Lead with the goal of creating harmonious relationships between humans and dogs.  Dogs have a language all of their own and my goal is to help owners bridge the gap in communication.  The first step to strengthening our relationship with our dogs is understanding what they are telling us, but most importantly what we REALLY have been saying to them.   Dogs can be such a joy in our lives, but they can also be an equal nightmare!  I know it's not a lack of trying when it comes to families trying to improve their dog's behavior, in the end it's just missed communication of expectations between human and dog! The good news is, with the right training it doesn't have to be like that forever!
So Ashley had been coming to my house probably 6-8 times since last year. My babies love her. She is calm and so sweet to them. They love her so much! I am sure they love her treats too! My Frenchies (2 & 3 yrs old) can now sit, stay, wait (this is when we hold a treat right in front of their face and they don't try to snatch it) and lay down. She has also helped with some potty issues that our youngest had. She helps us understand why our dogs are doing certain things and their motives. We rescued our doggies & they are Frenchies so they are stubborn to boot. So she helps us understand certain behaviors and how to correct them. 
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