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    • My fiancée and I are new dog owners. Our new sweetheart, Lulu, is 8 months old. We got her from a shelter that didn't know much about her background other than she might've been a stray. All things considered, she is very sweet and well behaved, but with her being relatively young, we need to do quite a bit of training with her still.

      I have some experience training a pup, my family had a dog when I was in high school. We used a clicker and went to classes which seemed like it worked for a while. But that dog had a nose of its own and had a hard time listening throughout its life, so I'm not sure if that was a successful experience or not.

      What are your tips, methodologies, book recommendations for successful dog training?

    • !!!!! I turn to mush when I see doggies. I've always had them, always been crazy about them. I don't know what we've done to deserve them.

      I believe the first principle of dogs is they are pack animals. You become part of their pack and they want to always be with you. That's the nice thing about working from home. They hate it when you leave and will always go nuts with excitement when you come home.

      Last night I happened to watch the movie Megan Leavy, based on the true story of a woman who joined the marines and went to Iraq as a bomb detection specialist with the very aggressive German Shepherd she was assigned. They train those dogs to extremes. The best human-dog teams are the ones where they have a strong bond. Megan managed to do that with Rex.

      I think the way to bond is to really love them. They can tell. You can still make sure they know you're the alpha, but I can see in Bodi every day on our walks around the neighborhood, he knows exactly who loves him and he's crazy to see those people.

    • What a cutie! I love that pink face.
      I like the idea of clicker training, but it only works if you have the clicker readily available. I defaulted to snapping, and it's worked great for Tyrian. I can also snap really loud now.. I also came up with a unique whistle for Recall. Something different from the classic whistle sound. I also found the advise of exposing Tyrian to as many dogs and people as possible while their young is invaluable.

      Tyrian got his first tick of the year today, and I'm so happy I had my TickKey on me. Get a pack, keep one in the car, house and in your wallet. Invaluable little devil remover!

      Not a recommendation on training, but here's a wonderful book for dog lovers:

    • Congrats on your new pup, she's adorable.

      When I got my first dog, Butters, I read the book "Before & After Getting Your Puppy" by Dr. Ian Dunbar. It's based on positive reinforcement training.

      I never took Butters to a professional trainer but he turned out to be widely known as one of the most lovable and friendly dogs at my old work place. My trick was.. follow the book! (And lots and lots of repetition).

      Not going to lie - having a dog that likes to eat makes things easier. Good luck!

    • Congratulations on your precious pup! Walking on a leash is a mandatory skill - especially without leash pulling. It is best to train her to do this while she is still a pup. Here is the hard part. Put her on a leash, then start walking. The split second she starts pulling - stop, and become an anchor. Then wait. When she relaxes the leash, start walking again. Stop when she pulls it taut. The idea is to get her to realize, in spite of her enthusiasm that you and she will not go forward until the leash is not tight. You may only get inches - or a foot the first time. Train for no longer than 10 minutes at her age. Little by little, the distance will increase. This skill is the most under rated skill in dog training I've seen. It also establishes you as a calm, and assertive leader.

      Also, don't allow her to "mouth" you or any people. It is cute while they are little but becomes a problem once they are adults. Disallow it now.

      Now, may I share our most recent addition to our family? He reminds me a little of yours! Both of ours are also Shelter dogs. And....thank you for adopting instead of buying. You are the BEST!