Our discussion at puppy class this week was all about the puppy crazies. You know, when the switch flips, and your normally sweet and wonderful pup turns into a wild, jumping, biting, running, out-of-control tornado. I totally understood why my students were both frustrated and worried. Is there something wrong with the pup? How do… [Read More]
Welcome to Ruffly Speaking.
I hope you enjoy my blog. My goal is to get people thinking, talking and exploring a wide variety of dog-related topics. Please let me know what you think!
In the past few years, I’ve notice a resurgence of outdated tools and methods used for training our dogs. Choke chains and slip leads, pinch collars, electronic collars, air horns and other tools that cause discomfort, pain, startle, and fear. I want to very clearly state that we do not use these methods at Good… [Read More]
I’m fascinated by a dog’s sense of smell. I love to play scent games with my dogs. In fact, we’ve taken scent games to the level of ultimate fun—playing find it in the house, garden and even on walks. One time a few years back, I watched my dog Chance use her nose to explore our rather weedy… [Read More]
I was leading a training class the other day that included a mildly fearful dog. The dog was responding well to cues, able to do the behaviors, and seemed to be handling the environment. But she did not seem to be having a lot of fun. Her human companion suggested she switch from food rewards… [Read More]
Do you want to get more out of your training? Here are 7 critical concepts to help you and your dog get the most out of your training sessions. Make training fun. This can’t be said too much. Start with fun. End with fun. Keep lessons short—stop before your dog wants to stop. Include lots… [Read More]
I use food in training. I use it a lot. Food can be a powerful training tool and one of the easiest ways to jump start new behaviors and reinforce (reward) your dog’s good choices. The more your dog is rewarded for a specific behavior, the more likely your dog will be able to do… [Read More]
I work with a lot of adolescent dogs. In fact, I just came back from helping a client with an almost year old dog that had successful disemboweled their couch cushions. I had to laugh to myself because I distinctly remember the day some 20 years ago when I came home from work and my… [Read More]
Most of us know that we need to socialize our pups. But did you know that socialization needs to start early? And that it is critical to socialize your pup before he or she has the full set of Parvovirus and Distemper vaccines? So how can you safely socialize a pup before he is fully… [Read More]
Reward marker training (commonly called clicker training) is my preferred method for teaching dogs new behaviors. It is easy, precise, and makes training fun for both the dog and the handler. But what exactly is reward marker training? Very simply, it is a way to communicate clearly with your dog. It means using a signal… [Read More]
I have a challenge for you. Can you name all of the things that make your dog wonderful? Why do you like these things about your dog? My dog has many wonderful traits. Here are just a few. Chance is funny and she likes to tell us jokes in a very dog-like way. She is… [Read More]