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We Learn
October 4, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Lucy Tate

Dog Manners: Tips for Owners and Their Pups When in Public Spaces

For many dog owners, going out in public with their pooch is inevitable. They take their pups to restaurants and on trips, allowing them to be a part of the family every day. In many cases, these dogs become comfortable enough with their excursions to get socialized, meaning they can easily handle being around people and other dogs. Some pets, however, need a little training before they’re ready to hang out in public spaces, both for their comfort and everyone’s safety. Continue Reading >

Can Chiropractic Help My Dog?

When humans experience back pain, they will often see a chiropractor, but did you know that there are chiropractors that will treat your pet too? Yes, animal chiropractic is a real veterinary practice that is backed by the Animal Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). Many pet owners are sold on chiropractic – and it isn’t necessarily new. Continue Reading >

August 15, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Backchaining Behaviors

Imagine you are sitting on your couch, but are really craving a soda or a water. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to send your dog to go retrieve you something to quench your thirst? Or what about those large grocery hauls? Wouldn’t your furry companion be the perfect extra set of hands to help you carry those bags into the house? Lots of these types of tasks are teachable to any dog with the proper foundation and motivation. But how do you even get started in teaching something more complex like this? Learning and understanding the concept of backchaining can be a very helpful theoretical foundation to assist you in teaching these behaviors. Continue Reading >

August 8, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Counter Conditioning

As a whole, many of the dogs that I see come in for training arrive on my doorstep due to unsavory behaviors that a client is trying to train out of their dog. Many of these behaviors revolve around fear or aggression, such as reactivity. Removing undesirable behaviors from a dog’s natural set of responses can prove to be a challenging task - it does not happen immediately, and it requires some systematic work to help a dog to replace a poor behavior pattern with something that is more desirable. Continue Reading >

Dog Obesity: Is It Really That Bad?

Canine obesity is a significant problem in the United states. An estimated 54% of dogs are obese or overweight. An obese dog is an unhealthy dog, a ticking time bomb. It is a suffering animal, often enduring great pain and has a shortened life span to look forward to. The problem is, many owners don’t acknowledge that there is a problem or don’t understand they are subjecting their dog to very serious health risks. Continue Reading >

July 25, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Problem Solving The Recall-Part 2

Previously, we discussed how to begin to build a recall with your dog. While for many dogs those steps help to build a reliable recall, some dogs are more easily distracted and will need some additional work to help further proof this behavior. Nothing beats the guidance of a one-on-one trainer, but below you will find some skills to practice to help build motivation for the recall. Continue Reading >

July 18, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Building A Reliable Recall-Part 1

Everyone has that dream of being able to take their pup off leash at a park or the beach, but that dream can frequently turn into a nightmare if your dog does not have a reliable recall. Because the outside world can be SO stimulating for most dogs, this can be a very difficult command to build since distractions are more than prevalent. Fundamental skills should be developed to help build consistency for a solid recall. Continue Reading >

July 11, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

How To Train Your Dog

Teaching a dog tricks not only helps to build engagement for training, but it can also bring fresh enthusiasm to your regimen, mentally challenge your dog, and encourage skills that can be used for other tasks or for physical conditioning. Many tricks can build off of a handful of core skills that we can teach to help build more complex behaviors down the road. Continue Reading >

Renting With Your Furry Companion

As a Bay Area native, I am deeply aware of the challenges that come along with living in this amazing place. Scare apartments, high rental costs, and most importantly, the limited selection in places that are dog friendly. With so many people having dogs and so few availabilities, knowing how to best market yourself and your dogs can go a long way in being able to secure your new home! Continue Reading >

February 12, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Jessica Walter

How To Build A Dog Friendly Garden

San Francisco has great weather nearly all year round, which is why so many of us love to spend time together as a family (dogs included) in the garden. If you are thinking of bringing a pup home for the first time, however, you may be surprised to learn that your garden may pose risks to your pup’s safety. Organization, the right selection of plants, and escape prevention are just a few steps you can take to ensure Fido is safe and sound while frolicking in the back (or front) yard. Continue Reading >

February 7, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

How To Train New Behaviors

Getting a dog to offer a new behavior with increased frequency in order to put it on cue requires precise marking and reward timing. In my experience, I find that I utilize two major techniques when trying to implement a new behavior into my dog’s repertoire - luring and free shaping. Continue Reading >

January 29, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Heather Burdo

4 Reasons To Train Your Dog

You bring home your new pup and you’re completely in love with your new addition to your family. With all the excitement over your new dog, you may not have considered training him. Once he starts chewing on shoes and barking like crazy at the neighbors, there’s no better time to start training. You can train your dog yourself with some useful resources online or you can contact a professional dog trainer. Continue Reading >

January 25, 2018 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

What Is Leash Reactivity?

Leash reactivity, sometimes also called leash aggression, is one of the most common problems prospective clients come in wanting to address with their dogs. It can make walk time extremely uncomfortable, even though it should be an enjoyable activity for both you and your dog. So what is leash reactivity? Where does it come from? Continue Reading >

November 9, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Dog Training As A Lifestyle

Committing to having a well behaved, furry member of society requires dedication to the entire well being of a dog. A great first step to achieving this goal is to enroll your dog in training classes. Not only does this help you to teach your dog good manners, but it also helps you to build a working relationship and line of communication with your dog that will carry throughout their lives Continue Reading >

October 29, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Bernie Boxer

No Tricks, Maybe Treats: Tips For A Safe Halloween With Your Dog

Like with most holidays or big celebrations, when Halloween comes around we can get pretty self-absorbed. In our quest to host a perfect party, build a perfect costume, or make our house the best house for trick-or-treaters on the block, we may forget about how our dogs feel about all of this hustle and bustle. Here’s how to make sure your dog stays safe and happy this Halloween. Continue Reading >

October 26, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Living With Dog Aggression

Try as we might, sometimes challenges arise with a dog that are very difficult to train out of them. Dog to dog aggression can often be one of those challenges. Even dogs that were social as puppies can develop dog aggression or selectivity due to bad experiences, over zealous play, or maturation that creates intolerance. Continue Reading >

October 12, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Chelsea Tirone

Holiday Friendly Dog Treat Recipes

Store-bought dog biscuits are not only expensive, they also contain ingredients that may be harmful to your pup. So why not make your own? Homemade dog treats are not only easy to make but healthy as well! With ingredients like peanut butter and vegetables, these three treat recipes are delicious and nutritious. Continue Reading >

October 12, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Agility For Your Urban Pup

Take a walk around your neighborhood. Chances are within a couple of blocks, you will pass things like benches, fire hydrants, planter ledges, mail boxes, etc. To the average person, these are just everyday objects that do not attract much attention. Now imagine your dog being able to balance on these objects, walk across them, or jump up onto new surfaces - your mundane neighborhood walk just took on a whole new life! I fondly refer to the utilization of these everyday objects as “urban agility”. Continue Reading >

September 1, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Mary L. Liken

GPS Collars For Off-Leash Hiking

Off-leash hikes are a great way for your pup to experience the great outdoors but what happens when he catches the scent of a squirrel or other critter and takes off? Enter the connected pet, the latest market segment to be disrupted, that offers many emerging gadgets meant to help you keep track of your pet and their activities. Continue Reading >

August 23, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

What You Need To Know About Dog Parks

Dog parks are a hot topic amongst dog trainers. On one hand, they are wonderful places to socialize your dog with fellow dog lovers. On the flip side, they can be the source of many health and behavioral complications for dogs. This article is not meant to sway you one way or another, but more to discuss the pros and cons of the utilization of dog parks. Continue Reading >

August 9, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

When Nerves Get The Best Of You

Challenges with dogs come in many shapes. From health problems to aggression, many dogs struggle with a wide array of behavioral problems that often bring them through the doors of a training facility. Having handled and train hundreds of dogs of all breeds, I often get asked what the most difficult dog is to train. Continue Reading >

How To Socialize An Adult Dog

A lot of forums out there are of the opinion there is a window period that comes with socializing rescues. Yes, dogs that have not been socialized as puppies usually present as adult dogs with abuse symptoms. A lot of people that have shy dogs may assume their dogs went through abuse, but in all probability, they were not socialized well when they were young. Continue Reading >

Balanced Training

Styles of training have shifted dramatically over the years. As people are wanting their dogs to be better trained to join them on outings, trainers are seeing more and more people expecting high end obedience out of their pets to ensure good behavior in public. I absolutely love this! I firmly believe in having dogs be a part of the family system, and raising the standard of dog training helps to make this possible. Continue Reading >

How To Help Your Nervous Dog With Car Rides

I recently read a fantastic book called How to be Your Dog's Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners by the Monks of New Skete. The part that stuck with me after reading that book is the emphasis on the fact that to you, your dog is your best friend. But to your dog, you are the leader of the pack - their source of socializing, of friendship, of belonging. I really took that to heart. Yes, I work a full-time job and I hate leaving my dog at home, but I do my best to include her when I can. Short trip to the grocery store? Hop in. Let's go for a ride. The pack is on the move! Continue Reading >

Working Dogs And Their Jobs

They don’t call a dog “Man’s best friend” for nothing. When it comes to our four legged friends, finding constructive ways to keep them busy isn’t always as easy as it seems. Whether you own a toy poodle or a Doberman pincher, almost every dog needs something to do that burns off their excess energy and keeps them out of trouble. Continue Reading >

How Loving A Single Cat Saved A Few Dogs

Ok, why do we have a story about a cat posted here on Barkswell? Bear with me. I'll bring this around to dogs, trust me. Some time ago my husband and I decided to go take a look at the local shelter. We weren't particularly looking for a new pet, we just needed to be around animals for a bit. You know, show them a little love while they wait for their forever homes. Continue Reading >

March 31, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Jane Meggitt

4 Tips For Picking A Hybrid Dog

Purebred or mixed breed? That's the question many would-be dog owners ask when deciding about adding a four-legged friend to their family. Hybrid dogs – resulting from the crossing of two different canine breeds –have certain advantages over purebreds. They are generally not as expensive to buy, and also benefit from hybrid vigor. That means that a dog of mixed genetics is likely to have fewer health problems than one from a long line of purebred dogs with shared genes. Continue Reading >

March 22, 2017 | We Learn | Story by Denzel B.

What Does Your Dog Really Think Of You?

Have you ever just sat there looking at your dog sleep and thought: “I wonder what he/she thinks of me?” First of all, when you come into the room, I wonder what our dogs mentally say to themselves to acknowledge our presence. Is it positive? Like “here comes (insert awesome dog owner name)” or is it more personal like “wow he/she’s put on weight” or “really? You wore that outfit last weekend”. Continue Reading >

March 10, 2017 | We Learn | Story by Cathy E.

3 Things You May Not Know About Poodles

If a poufy hairdo, nail polish and little pink bows come to mind when you hear the word “Poodle,” you’re missing the point. While it’s true that some Poodle parents still favor the foppish look of leg and tail puffs, big hair and various adornments, most people who share their home with Poodles appreciate the breed for characteristics other than their foo-foo potential. Continue Reading >

How To Eliminate Fleas

If you have a pet dog, fleas can give you sleepless nights. The one thing that most pet owners dread are fleas. Dogs can get infected if they come in contact with other animals or fleas in the environment. Before you start with any kind of remedial treatment, clean your home and items used by your pet. Continue Reading >

How To Introduce A New Baby To Your Dog

Here’s the situation. You love your four legged friend, he’s been there for you since you were living in that small apartment with only Ben & Jerry to keep you warm…well, cold at night. Now, you’re married and guess what — pregnant! Yay! But wait, how will Spot take to the baby? Is it safe? Should you let your sister keep him until the baby has her shots? Fear not, mama bear. With adequate preparation, there’s nothing to worry about. Continue Reading >

February 22, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Cathy E.

The Two Things I learned About My Local Shelter

If you’re like me and you have a less-than-progressive animal shelter nearby, chances are you’ll do anything to avoid setting foot in the place. Especially if it’s a kill shelter. No matter what terms they may use—euthanize, put down, PTS (put to sleep)—the staff destroys dogs, cats and other pets simply because they’re unwanted. Almost nothing makes an animal lover more upset. Continue Reading >

February 17, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Building Motivation

One of the most common things I have clients tell me is that they don’t want to have to use treats for the rest of their lives. Building the intrinsic motivation for your dog to want to work with you takes time and trust and continues to be fostered throughout your training program. Continue Reading >

February 13, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Diane Driscoll

Agility Training And Your Dog

“My dog could never do that!” I hear that a lot from people when they first see an agility team in action. It usually bursts out of them when the dog is flying through the weave poles, executing a task that seems impossibly difficult. I said something like that myself the first time I saw it, but, actually, most dogs can learn to do agility if they are physically able. Continue Reading >

February 6, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Denzel B.

How To Use Your Dog To Find Love

If you start to find that your nights are beginning to consist of you wrapped up with your dog, watching a sad movie and wishing somebody was there to agree on its sadness (“Why didn’t she just move over?! There was room for Jack!!”), then it may be time to go out and find somebody you can lay with. No not like that, get your minds out the gutter! I meant on the couch while you watch titanic for an epic 9th time. Continue Reading >

January 13, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Timothy Fox

Two Tips For The Best Dog Hygiene

Just like us, our four legged friends need to practice good hygiene to stay healthy. The practices are generally the same, we take care of their teeth, we bathe them and we keep them brushed. There is one area we fail sometimes to pay attention to, and that is their food and water bowls. Sure, you may rinse the water bowl out or wash the food bowl when it gets extra furry, but this can be a major growth place for bacteria. Also, pay attention to what you are putting in their bowls. Continue Reading >

January 11, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Hilary Fosdal

4 Tips To Survive A Shared Pet-Relief Area In An Apartment Building

One of the increasingly common amenities offered in high rises is a dog relief area. The concept is one of convenience, yet sadly, the reality is something slightly more disturbing. I’ve rarely visited one that didn’t resemble an outhouse. Flies buzzing. The stench crawling up the walls. Feeling the need to secure everything to your person before entering the area, lest it get dropped onto the ground (which is a step up from losing it down the pit for good!). Continue Reading >

January 9, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Barbara Rivers

How The Army Crawl Can Keep Your Puppy Safe

Having two puppies move in with us back in 2011 was quite the experience. After all, I had never owned dogs before, let alone raised any. My perfectionist nature demanded as much prep work as possible before the arrival of our two fur babies Missy & Buzz, so one day, while browsing various dog books and magazines, I came across an invaluable tip I never would have come up with on my own. The Army Crawl. Continue Reading >

January 2, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Sandy Kenrick

Never Say This To A Dog Owner

There is an unspoken truce between an owner and a dog that will transcend every other relationship. It’s not uncommon for a dog owner to make their social arrangements according to whether their hosts have pets or not and will begrudgingly accept those where humans are the only social creatures available. When entering the domain of the dog lover, however, there will be a slight change of rules and the proper etiquette will need to be adhered to. Continue Reading >

December 30, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Patricia Jones

How To Make Sports And Recreation Safe And Fun For Your Pets

It’s football, basketball and other sports and recreation season! While plenty of people get excited about the fun and games that fall and winter bring, it’s not always the most fun or safest time for your pet. Loud noise, chaos from house guests, new smells and people, and other activity can be exciting – or terrifying –for your pet. There’s also a risk that your furry loved one might be accidentally let out of the house or yard, frightened, or in some cases, injured, during the festivities. Continue Reading >

December 28, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Diane Driscoll

Hotel Etiquette With A Pup

Dog owners love to travel with their dogs, but few hotels welcome them. Are you doing everything you can to make sure that you and your dog are good hotel guests, so that hotels that accept dogs will continue to do so? Set an example of responsible pet ownership when you stay in a hotel with your dog. Help keep the welcome mat out for pets. Continue Reading >

December 21, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Cathy E.

Winter And Your Dog

Many people consider their dogs to be pretty resilient creatures—and generally speaking, they are. But for those who live in colder climates, it pays to think about the safety of those four-legged family members as winter weather draws near. After all, if you’re uncomfortable, you may not be the only one. Continue Reading >

December 9, 2016 | We Learn | Story by Tara Renner

When Rescue Goes Wrong

You’ve probably heard of hoarding. Maybe you’ve seen a news report, or your neighbor’s mother-in-law has a problem. Someone whose house is impassable, a fire hazard. He or she is a collector of things that would be considered mostly junk to the rest of us, but for some deeply, psychologically inexplicable reason, these things are precious and necessary treasures to that individual. The collection piles up and up, until only narrow passageways are navigable, or not even that. The authorities are called. Television shows are filmed, and we gaze in horror and amazement. Continue Reading >

December 7, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Richard Salgado

Three Tips To Find The Perfect Dog Breed

If you are in the market for buying a dog – congratulations! Being the owner of a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the entire world. If you have not heard this yet – prepare to hear it a lot! What you are going to be embarking upon a journey with a furry friend of adventures, travel and unconditional love! Now, before we can get to that point, there is one vital piece of information that is needed: picking out the perfect dog breed! Don’t worry though, we got you covered. Here are Three Tips To Find the Perfect Dog Breed! Continue Reading >

November 23, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Sarah Lucas

Pet Insurance: Why You Need It

Caring for dogs can be expensive. At the very least, they need shots every year, flea and tick treatment, and heartworm prevention pills. If your dog hurts themselves, has an allergic reaction, or breaks a bone, you're looking at a trip to the vet and a large bill. Just diagnosing problems can be expensive, with X-Rays running up to $500 and MRIs running up to $2,500. Continue Reading >

November 18, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Kristen Brady

How To Get Pet Stains Out Of Your Carpet

Pets and carpets are not a great combination. If your carpet is stained due to the activities of your pet, it is often an uphill task to clean it properly. Apart from the dirty looking stains, dog urine has a distinctive odor and if the carpet is not cleaned properly the smell may continue to linger and cause a lot of discomfort. Continue Reading >

November 9, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Patricia Jones

3 Ways To Help Enforce Animal Cruelty Laws

Earlier this year, it was reported that animal cruelty is now a felony in all 50 states. It’s a win for animals as well as people. Statistics have shown that many of those who engage in criminal activity of all kinds also abuse animals, too. With the new laws in place, law enforcement can better track and maintain records of those who abuse animals – and potentially prevent other crimes from happening. Continue Reading >

November 4, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Max Willner

How To Prepare For A Hike With Your Dog

The mountains are calling and I must go.” The words of John Muir ring true for many of us - the crisp, cool air, the overwhelming panoramic views, and the sense of adventure continue to grip us and pull us away from our homes and into the embrace of the great outdoors. It is truly an awesome thing to get out there and get away from our jobs, our cell phones, and our problems. Whether it's your favorite hike or a brand-new trail - it's always an adventure. Have you considered taking your four-legged friend? Continue Reading >

5 Reasons To Foster A Dog

Everyone knows adopting a dog from a shelter saves lives but many people are unaware that fostering a dog can be just as beneficial. When you foster, you provide a temporary home for a shelter dog for a certain amount of time; often until they are adopted by another family (or you, which is known as a “foster fail”). But, fostering is so much more than that. Here are just five of the many reasons to become a dog foster parent! Continue Reading >

October 5, 2016 | We Care, We Learn | Tips from Cathy E.

How To Build A Dog First Aid Kit

You probably have a first aid kit for the people in your household—or at least a collection of supplies—why not have one for your dog? In case of an emergency you may still need to visit your veterinarian, but having a few items ready to treat your dog will help both of you manage symptoms and stress. Continue Reading >

September 7, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Socializing A New Dog

Bringing a new puppy home is an incredibly exciting time for the entire family. Socializing your new fuzz ball is always a challenge every person faces, and it is a crucial component to ensuring your new pup is a well-balanced member of society as they grow up. Socialization is one of those buzz words that can mean something different to every person you ask. Continue Reading >

August 22, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Carly Bush

Starting a Dog Walking Business? Think About This!

You’ve probably seen them at your local dog park—walking five, six, or even more dogs at once, enjoying the afternoon sunshine and the company of their four-legged friends while others are stuck inside on the office grind. It can be a highly lucrative business opportunity, and allows a lot more freedom than other jobs. Not only can you choose your own hours, you get to enjoy the great outdoors, set the wage that works for you, and hang out with dogs all day. Continue Reading >

August 19, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Ingrid Saunders

4 Tips To Entertain Your Puppy

Keeping your puppy entertained is the best way to keep from having your home destroyed by a bored little creature. There are so many different ways to play and exercise with your puppy. Puppies are capable of digging holes (everywhere), chewing socks (or anything else) into pieces, and even chewing on furniture. Continue Reading >

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