I use remote training collars. There, I said it. I have now officially outed myself…
I also use clickers and other assorted training markers, treats, toys, leashes, head collars, and prong collars. I’ve even been known to use a bark collar once or twice. I teach my dogs to tug and play. I teach them to make choices. I teach them that there are consequences to those choices. I show them the value in making the right choice. I also teach them how to make mistakes and to recover from those mistakes so that they can try again to make the right choice. I train using operant conditioning (mostly) and a positive reinforcement mindset. I want learning to be fun for my dogs but I also expect them to be obedient.
So what does this say about me as a trainer? Well, some folks would have you believe that because I use training aids that are considered controversial, such as remote training collars and prong collars, that I must be a bad trainer and that, by extension, I must also treat my dogs poorly. But here’s the thing… Continue reading →
There’s an old joke: “My dog always does his business on the newspaper — but only while I’m reading it.” If your furry pal has suddenly decided to alter his toilet habits after a lifetime of good behavior, you have to figure out the underlying issue (of the problem, not of your newspaper) before we can step in with any re-training he may need.
The first thing you’ll want to do is eliminate the possibility of a lurking health issue. Bladder or bowel disorders can cause incontinence without warning, making it impossible for your dog to get his appointed bathroom zone in time. These cases usually respond nicely to veterinary treatment. Dogs may also develop some degree of urinary incontinence in their elder years; again, your veterinarian may also be able to recommend treatment methods or lifestyle changes to help minimize the problem.
An otherwise healthy pet who suddenly disobeys his house training may be “acting out” against something in the home that he finds distressing. Scary sounds such as gunshots, fireworks or thunder, or even an overwhelming chemical or household odor, can drive a dog away from his relief area. Separation anxiety can also cause a dog to go to the bathroom in the wrong part of the house, and a fear of being crated can cause a pet to lose control as well. We can work with these dogs to train the fear out of them and help them become more comfortable in their environment.
If your dog’s break in house training remains a mystery despite your best detective work, contact Sit Means Sit. We know dogs, and we can discuss his behavior with you or even observe him in the home to try and get at the root of the problem. Good luck!
From time to time Sit Means Sit Austin & San Antonio are contacted to provide a dog or more for animal acting. In this video we were invited to LifeVantage’s launch of one of their products which was a big event in San Antonio Texas. The dogs were brought to add humor, distraction and add entertainment to the launch.
We work with the folks directing and managing the event, commercial, TV show, or movie in advance so we can work with our dogs to develop any new tricks or behaviors required for the event or shoot. We help script and provide ideas on what our dogs can do (most people underestimate what the dogs can do as part of the show or event). We meet at a dress rehearsal to get everyone comfortable working with the dog(s), get the dog(s) comfortable with the environment, and practice stage placements, queues, timing, etc and work out any last minute details.
As you can imagine, a live event with a crowd is much more difficult for the dogs and the handler. In this video, Remmy and Kira perform perfectly even with the loud live crowd.
Contact Sit Means Sit Austin & San Antonio if you would like us to provide dogs for any events, commercials, TV episodes or movies. The more the advanced notice, the more we can have our dogs do and learn.
512-348-7833 / 210-414-2788
The training succeeded brilliantly. A few sessions with the Sit Means Sit professionals, and your dog was doing a fantastic job of not jumping on you, or avoiding the living room couch, or whatever behavior you’d hired us to get under control. So why is your dog now misbehaving again, as if all that training had simply been swept away? Did the training itself fail — or did you fail you reinforce that training consistently? Continue reading →
Did you know that half of all kids are bitten by a dog and most often by their own dog? This information is reported in published studies and is easily verified. Just ask around and you will find that half the people you talk to will have been bitten as a child. Dog bites can leave children frightened of dogs and sometimes scarred physically and emotionally. The dog may lose his home, his family or even his life. Experts agree that dog bites are preventable through education.
Non-profit Doggone Safe provides education to help children learn to act safely around dogs. As you may no, Troy Pfeifer with Sit Means Sit Austin & San Antonio is a Doggone Safe presenter. Doggone Safe has announced the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge with a goal of educating 50,000 children in one month. The Challenge will take place during May to celebrate Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 20-26).
What Do Kids and Dog Owners Need to Know?
Happy dogs are much less likely to bite than are anxious dogs. Parents need to teach children to recognize the difference and to interact only with happy dogs.
A happy dog wags his tail loosely and pants. He shows interest in interacting with the child. An anxious dog may lick his lips, yawn, turn his head away or show a half moon of white in his eye. By learning to read dog body language and understanding that dogs have feelings, children will develop empathy for dogs.
Children must know what to do if they meet a strange dog or any dog is bothering them. We need to empower them with the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe. Doggone Safe teaches children to stand still, fold your branches (hands folded in front), watch your roots grow (look at your feet) and count in your head over and over to the biggest number you know until help comes or the dog goes away. This is the skill that is going to save a life or prevent a serious mauling if a child ever meets that rare and truly aggressive or predatory dog. We recently received an e-mail from a mother who said “[My 3-year old daughter] was standing in a tree pose as well as she could, shivering while being surrounded by two of the dogs barking and growling at her. We would like to thank you for your campaign and online information. We are convinced that it saved our daughter’s life.”
How Can You Help?
Become a Be a Tree presenter, sponsor a Be a Tree session through your business, donate a Be a Tree teacher kit to a school or an animal shelter, invite a Be a Tree presenter to your school and spread the word about the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge. You can call our office at (512) 348-7833 to schedule a Be A Tree presentation or visit www.doggonesafe.com and learn about dog body language and teach your kids. Watch your own dog for signs of anxiety. Supervise and intervene before the dog gets to the point of growling or biting because all of his other stress signals have been ignored. Teach a child – save a dog.
The New Year has just passed and I know many individuals have made resolutions to start exercising. Don’t leave your dog behind! In the United States, over half of all pets are considered obese. Running with your dog is one way to battle the obesity epidemic together and to strengthen your bond with your pet! Here are some tips to help you get started: Continue reading →
Dogs don’t have to be athletic or “purebred” to be a star in doggie sports. There are plenty of canine sports that do exercise the body, but there are also several that primarily exercise the mind! Some sports are strictly for purebred dogs, but there are many that now allow mixed-breed dogs. If you have a canine pal that is longing for an extracurricular activity, check out these activities to pursue with your pup. Continue reading →
Establishing leadership and pack structure is probably the single most important thing to do when you own a dog. Whether it’s your long time family pet, a new puppy, or one you rescued, you will want to start off with this basic foundation. Dogs without leadership and structure can start to display signs of dominance, show aggressive behavior, become fearful, and have separation anxiety. If you notice that your dog shows behaviors like these, you may need to step back and re-evaluate where you stand as a leader. Great leadership and structure may not completely fix or “cure” the unwanted behaviors in your dog, but it will certainly make a great impact. Continue reading →
Your dog is a trusting animal by nature. It doesn’t cross her mind that something could be dangerous. As her owner, it is your responsibility to make sure her environment in the house is free from harm.
How to Recognize Danger
When you look around your house you may think that everything looks perfectly safe. But you and your dog may have very different views on what could be a toy or a tasty snack. When you dog proof your house, try to see it in your dog’s perspective. Hunker down to the height of your dog’s line of sight and take a look at what your dog sees. Look around for any hidden dangers that your dog may get herself into. Simply use common sense and take the same precautions as you would with a child. Continue reading →
While growing up, I never really had the companionship of a dog. My parents aren’t really dog people, and although I got a puppy at age 11, I didn’t take any effort to train her and my dad gave her to a close friend soon after we got her. I learned from my mistake pretty quickly and vowed that I’d never get a dog again unless I could take the time to train him or her. When I felt I was ready to take on the responsibility of a dog, I researched for months what breed I would get, how to prepare for a puppy, and how to do basic obedience training.
I got Remy, my pup, at 8 weeks old and was astounded with how much more difficult it was to raise a puppy than the books and websites made it out to be. I enrolled in a puppy kindergarten class and learned a few valuable things but lacked the level of obedience and the relationship I longed for in a dog. I became increasingly frustrated at this young animal for doing “bad” things… when in reality every mistake he made was attributable to me.
To help grow my relationship with Remy I got involved with hunting competitions. I found that Remy and I both loved being out in the field and it was a time that he could wholeheartedly enjoy himself. However, Remy was far behind the other dogs in obedience and he and I needed to create a more solid understanding of basic training concepts to continue advancing. I loved working with Remy, and training with him was becoming a great passion of mine, I just still needed help!
I found Sit Means Sit at a time when I was overwhelmed and confused about how to train my dog. I had gone to plenty of trainers and read multiple books about dog training, but I was still frustrated. Things that worked for other dogs didn’t work for Remy. Sit Means Sit and their method of attention based training helped my relationship with Remy grow and finally blossom. Dog training became an even more extreme passion, and I began working with Sit Means Sit as a full time trainer shortly after.
As a trainer, I am passionate about people’s relationships with their dogs. I feel that many people don’t have good relationships with their dogs because they don’t feel like their dogs respect them enough to listen to them. Through attention based training, I hope to assist clients in building positive, loving, respectful relationships with their pets! I have experienced firsthand the overwhelming impact that a well trained dog can have on your life, and I want others to experience the fun relationship that they and their dogs can have through obedience training!