Correcting a dog with a spray bottle of water, and expecting the dog to be totally cool with bath time makes zero sense. Also, if you've used the spray bottle method, don't be surprised if the dog isn't a huge fan of walking in the rain. Rain and bath time can both be perceived as a HUGE correction. Spending time conditioning the dog to be uncomfortable when wet, is counter productive. -Those of you guys who rely on doggie daycares, be advised spray bottles of water are their go-to correction method. Don't get me wrong, I recognize the need for corrections in the context of training. I prefer a direct communication without having water involved. -For those of you that are new to my page, my own dog Bollywood has some pretty basic apprehension related to water. I suspect it is rooted in similar spray bottle experiences in his early puppy past. My family and I welcomed him into our lives when he was 10 months old. We're not dwelling on it, but it definitely is one of our top summer training goals. Photo credit to SophieGamand.com.
Here are my fabulous five pro tips for a relatively chill walk with your dogs.
1. Before you even touch their training equipment (dog leashes, e-collars, prong collars etc.) Let the dog(s) out, for potty break first. Once both of my dogs poop, I will start prepping myself for their walk. I live in the burbs now, so garbage cans are few and far between. I am not a fan of schlepping bags of poop around. If you get the potty shenanigans out of the way first, you can all focus on the walk, instead of marking up the neighborhood. -For the folks that live in the city, I suggest going to your dog's typical potty spot, before starting your walk. Dogs love routine. Meet those basic needs first.
2. Walk in an area that is busy (if you can). I gravitate to walking on streets where there is reliable traffic for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the dog can practice heeling in an area with a fair amount of distractions, and secondly, people in residential neighborhoods that live on busy roads are less likely to leave their dogs out and unattended in their front lawns. That means a lesser chance of a surprising dog-on-dog confrontation.
3. Don't be a hero. If you see someone else walking their dog, cross the street. I do this everyday as I walk my own dogs. Trained dogs are rare. Suburban dogs see other dogs on leash, less frequently and as a result, they tend to be reactive (barking, lunging, growling etc). Just avoid threading the needle, be a courteous neighbor, protect your dog from the excited dog and keep on walking. -Remember your goal is to walk, not stop and kibbutz with every furry character and person you encounter. It's BAD ADVICE to make your dog sit and feed it "high value" stuff as it watches another dog walk by.
4. Ear buds! I use my music wisely. If I'm on a stretch of the walk where I don't really need to do a lot of listening to my surroundings, I rock out. Lately, I've been really into Die Antword. Totally off topic but they're weird, and sometimes, I like a lil weirdness in my life. My point is, sometimes music can be a great accompaniment to the dog walking experience. Sometimes it's a drag though. Things like traffic, runners, and even off leash dogs can pop up out of nowhere...especially if you're rocking out and not hearing any incoming distractions. If you're confident you and your dog can hustle through surprises, cool! Ear bud-it-UP! 🙂 If your dog has more nuanced behavioral issues, I still recommend putting ear buds in, just don't turn your music on. Decoy ear buds make you look like you're listening to something, this way you look somewhat unapproachable. Other people are less likely to interrupt your walk.
5. If you've got a dog that has massive issues with people and/or dogs, avoid walking the dog between 12 am and 3:30 am. Some of the most gangsta, dangerous, unbalanced dogs I have trained with were walked during those hours...it's not super safe out there. Schedule training with a balanced trainer near you. That way, you'll get actual results and be able to walk with your dog during daylight.
Those are my fabulous five walking suggestions! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I'm happy to help with suggestions to improve your walking experiences.
This is a perfect photo of pups socializing with their dam. Here, the dam (Momma dog) is calmly correcting her pup for some sort unacceptable behavior. In nature, thriving, healthy animals correct their young. The corrected pups respond by choosing to avoid the unwanted behavior. The pups are not devastated by the dam's correction. The pups don't cower in fear of the dam. The pups don't resent the correction. Instead, the pups absorb the instant communication, and move right along to other challenges, by testing their boundaries, and observing the environment. A balanced dam doesn't wait for her pups to present good behavior, and respond by profusely rewarding the pup. Instead, the dam communicates instantly to the pup, if the behavior presented is acceptable, or unacceptable, she then quickly moves on. A healthy, balanced dam doesn't hold a grudge, or excessively punish her pups for infractions. This type of early, calm, predictable communication amongst the dam and puppy litter mates, is SO crucial to the long term wellbeing of an adult balanced dog. I believe we could all learn a lot from observing a dam interact with her pups. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with calmly correcting your dog.
A very special thanks to Old-Time Australian Shepherds, for taking this picture, sharing it, and for breeding some of the most amazing Australian Shepherds I have ever seen. -Fun fact, Old Time Aussies bred Good Karma Training's own very tenacious, and bold, Cricket.
For more information regarding Old Time Aussies, please see their website: http://www.old-timeaustralianshepherds.com
Too much, too easy, too soon. Ever hear that phrase? It's an old school phrase which typically was applied to spoiled children. In this instance, I'm referring to dogs. 🙂 Humor me. Spoiling your dog endlessly will not lead your dog toward better behavior. I know because I tried the spoiling method, and failed. Miserably. My current structured lifestyle with my dogs allows my dogs to experience more freedom, and spend more quality time with my family and I, than I could have ever imagined with my first dog Karma. People reach out to me for training advice daily, struggling to cope with really horrible aggressively behaved dogs, and the answers are in these ten steps.
1) Crate train the dog. The dog should be able to sleep for eight hours in its crate overnight, and should be crated when you are not present to interrupt bad behaviors. 2) Avoid providing the dog with unearned affection, talking directly to the dog, dolling out treats, playing with toys scattered around your home, and avoid excitement in general. 3) Teach the "place" command. 4) Don't worry about walking your dog, if your dog has aggressive and/or anxious behavior outside on leash, letting the dog practice that aggressive and/or anxious behavior isn't working to resolve the bad behavior. Instead, begin calm, quiet obedience training indoors without distractions. 5) The dog needs to hold long durations of the "place" command, and/or the "down" command. The idea is for the dog to get into the habit of doing nothing, on command, until released from the command by you. 6) If your obedience is tight enough, testing your dog outside with distractions will be very easy. If you find it hard, return to obedience training in your home. Tighten that up. The dog shouldn't break command unless released. Then, retest outside with distractions. 7) Continue a life of structure, if you loosen up on structure, your dog will let you know right away if they can't handle excitement, affection, playing, or other freedoms. 8) Always do what the dog NEEDS, and not what you WANT. Everyone wants to pet the fur off their dog, snuggle the bejesus out of them on the couch, and excitedly greet them by rolling around on the floor the instant they arrive home from work. Not every dog can handle that level of excitement, affection, and/or freedom. Make a conscious effort to give your dog what he/she needs, and avoid doing the easy stuff that makes you immediately feel good. 9) Be at peace with your dogs limitations. Not every dog is a super easygoing muffin of a dog to spend time with. 10) Set goals, and work toward them together. If you find you're all struggling with implementing a life of structure, contact a balanced dog trainer, that can help guide you and your dog through a behavior modification program.
For those of you that followed Beignet the AmStaff, you might be interested in an update. He has lost a total of 8.5 lbs since he began his training journey! His goal weight includes losing another 4-5 pounds. His owners are doing such an excellent job with managing his physical shape, and sticking to a lifestyle of structure to ensure he maintains a balanced state of mind. Overweight dogs are SO common in America. His owners recognize how the more unbalanced his physical health was, the worse his mental health became. If you're reading this, and feeding your dog extra treats, and kibble, out of guilt, and frustration with your dog's unbalanced/unpredictable behavior, please understand these issues are absolutely connected, and resolvable. Start simple. Reduce the dog's kibble, and eliminate the extra treats. Then get in contact with a balanced dog trainer that can help you and your dog live a healthier, happier #lifestyle.
If you've ever thought that training your puppy on an e-collar would make your puppy fearful, shut down, and/or aggressive, take a minute to watch me working my own personal seven month-old puppy Cricket.
I am a business owner. I am very sensitive about posting negative reviews. For seven days, I have debated whether or not I should share my experience. Regretfully, I am posting negatively about my experience with Dr. Kramberg. My reason for posting the review is to proactively prevent other potential patients from experiencing poor treatment. The patient doctor relationship here was completely shattered by the doctor’s behavior. I am not seeking any sort of financial, reimbursement. I am simply sharing my bad experience.
At 3:30 pm on March 24, 2016, my husband, I met with Dr. Kramberg a local Regenx network affiliated doctor. Our consultation goal was to identify if I would be a good candidate for a series of injections to my right hip. In 2013, I was diagnosed with bilateral femoral acetabular impingement. I had arthroscopic surgery on my left hip in 2013, which I absolutely do not regret. Three years later, my right hip is starting to fail in a similar fashion. My career, and passion in life, demands daily physical activity. I was interested in the concept of healing via the introduction of stem cells, and without the arthroscopic surgery's side effect of a more lengthy recovery time. During the consultation with Dr. Kramberg, he seemed rushed, and disheveled. When my husband asked questions, Dr. Kramberg had an uneasy edge in his responses, as if he were merely reciting tidbits of information from the Regenexx brochures. He said I was a candidate for the injection series. Though we both found the doctor to be maybe not the most affable, we reasoned that, if I was motivated to feel better, I should proceed with the $6200.00 stem cell injection series. When I inquired about his availability during the consultation, the doctor stated, he was booked up six months in advance, and that if we were interested, we should get on the schedule right away. Dr. Kramberg was creating a sense of urgency, a common, and useful sales tactic. Looking back, this is the part where I should have taken stock of these important observations. I was the only patient in the office at the time of my appointment. After the consultation appointment with the doctor, I went to the reception desk, there were plenty of staff available, and the phone was not ringing at all. -That is a major red flag. Professional, doctor's offices are typically very busy. The waiting room of a professional doctor's office is typically occupied by more than one soul, and the phone rings periodically. Not surprisingly, they were able to schedule out my series of injection appointments starting on April 19th. At the time, I rationalized that maybe they had a cancelation? Though looking back, why was the office so quiet? Why was the doctor in such a rush to have me get on the schedule, and provide a $500 deposit?
On April 8, 2016, I attended an MRI for my right hip. That was arranged because my husband called to Dr. Kramberg's office and advised the most recent imaging performed on my right hip was from 2013. That detail is important because my husband, not Dr. Kramberg, was motivated to obtain a current diagnosis of my right hip which was scheduled to undergo this intrepid procedure. Why did this doctor not order current imaging to be performed straight away?
On the morning of April 14, 2016, the MRI report arrived, my husband, and I read it, and we had additional questions. I advised the doctor's office staff that we were interested in following up with the doctor regarding the recent MRI report. The staff member agreed, the additional questions should be no problem, and that she would have the doctor contact me. That same day at 1:10 pm, Dr. Kramberg called me regarding my MRI report questions. I asked if I could conference my husband in on the call. The doctor sighed audibly, and reluctantly agreed. I asked the doctor about the effectiveness of having the stem cell injections rebuild my damaged labrum, only to have the "rebuilt" labrum ripped away by my existing cam impingement issue (which is similar to the concept of a bone spur).
Dr. Kramberg said, "Yes, the injections will help", and then he said his patients with my same hip issue, have shown improvement, with a reduction in pain. I said, "That is great. I would be interested in talking to these people who have had my same hip issue, and have shown improvement, after the series of stem cell injections." -Regenexx claims to have performed nearly 30,000 stem cell procedures, surely one of their successful injections stories would match closely to my current hip situation. In response, Dr. Kramberg suddenly spoke very loudly to my husband and I, saying "I'm not rounding out your bones! Go do your homework! I don't have time for this! I have a patient on the table waiting for me! I am canceling all of your appointments! I have a patient on the table waiting for me! I have to go! I don't have time to talk to you about this anymore!" He hung up the phone, as my husband, and I were saying we could schedule a phone call when he had more time...From a customer service perspective, there are a million other ways this situation could have been handled. Honestly, I am not sure why he would call a patient back to discuss a recent MRI report, in the middle of another patient's procedure. If in fact there was another important matter requiring his attention, it would have made more logical sense to have the office staff call my husband and I to schedule a follow-up phone consultation, or even an in-person consultation. Instead, the overly dramatic response left my husband, and I immediately suspicious of Dr. Kramberg, and the Regenexx corporation. Although I live with chronic pain, I am not an unreasonable person. I understand that some questions, and concerns require more time.
I then called directly to the Regenexx corporate office 888-525-3005, and left a hysterical sobbing voicemail. Enduring chronic hip pain, seeking hope, seeking relief, then being verbally abused by a doctor, and hung up on, is absolutely unacceptable.
After being hung up on, my husband contacted Dr. Kramberg's staff to obtain a reimbursement for our $500 deposit. According to the office staff, Dr. Kramberg had already explained to them, that he did not have the time to speak to us any further about our concerns, and to cancel my three injection appointments. I suppose that alleged "patient on the table", waited a bit longer while Dr. Kramberg proceed to vent to his office staff about his inability to handle a series of logical questions regarding the effectiveness of the stem cell procedure as it relates to my specific physical ailment. At no time did Dr. Kramberg’s office offer to refund our initial consultation appointment fee.
The evening of April 14, 2016, I spoke with Andre from the corporate Regenxx office. I detailed my complaint to him. I explained, that we are so profoundly disappointed that our simple logical questions, and my request to speak with a single successful patient referral, could not be answered in a calm, logical, sincere way. Instead, we experienced Dr. Kramberg's epic emotional, defensive, and angry, meltdown on the phone. Andre apologized for our experience, and advised me that he would follow up with both the Regenxx office Coordinator, and the Regenxx office Strategic Development Director.
On April 20, 2016, Andre from the corporate Regenexx office advised me that "Dr. Kramberg is known to be abrasive, and also known not to have a good bedside manner." Further, that Dr. Kramberg remains within the Regenexx network, because he is “has a high level of skill with Regenexx procedures”. Andre also advised me, "After the Coordinator, and the Strategic Development Director spoke with the Dr. Kramberg’s office staff they agreed, Dr. Kramberg is that way with patients because he's from New York." I repeated back to Andre what he had said. Andre replied, "Well, those are my words, Dr. Kramberg is very direct when he speaks." Andre seemed to be back pedaling. I explained, that although I am not from New York, I am quite familiar with our culture of direct speaking in this region. I recognize direct speaking can seem a little off putting for some. I am not a shrinking violet, and have absolutely zero issue with a person speaking frankly. The issue I have, is not having my questions answered, being loudly talked over, and then hung up on.
Going forward, Regenexx has offered to have another network doctor follow up with my husband, and I, regarding our unanswered questions. Andre said he would look into potentially locating a successful hip patient injection referral. I have no ill will toward Regenexx. I have provided my abbreviated, but detailed, experience with Dr. Kramberg a Regenx network affiliated doctor, to serve as a warning to other potential patients, looking to consult with this doctor. Anyone enduring chronic pain is especially vulnerable to scams, bad service, and general mistreatment. I hope to spare others from a similar awful experience. Thank you for your time in reading this. #Regenexx #StemCellInjection
I am super selective about the clients I choose to work with, because working with people that decide not to follow through with the training plan, is absolutely heartbreaking. Every day, people call me genuinely struggling with dangerous dog behavioral issues, and yet their relationship is so emotionally unbalanced with their dog, they balk at things like crate training. "Muffin can't sleep in a CRATE! Muffin is my friend! Besides, Muffin LOVES MY BED! So he bites my significant other? Muffin is my friend/child/furbaby, and he has every right to be comfortable!" -I believe, people who are struggling with their unbalanced dog, should consider demonstrating their love for their dog through routine, and command repetititve structure, as opposed to hugs, kisses, treats, and human emotional feelings including sympathy, and love. My friend Dave, owner of Empowered K9 Training of Phoenix, Arizona, does a great job in this post, detailing the level of commitment required for real changes to be made, especially given more challenging dog personalities. -If you've got a really challenging dog issue you're dealing with right now, you've got to do what's right for your dog/dogs. Not what is perfectly emotionally comfortable to you.
"No matter what you think or how you feel, things will never get better or change with your dog(s) behavior unless you make owner lifestyle changes first.
Each week I get my fair share of people contacting me about issues they're having with their dog and they need help, and in most cases won't be able to keep the dog if they don't get help. I always start off with the same no more of this, that, that and this, and guess what happens 9/10 times I say those things....they tell me they can't do that or won't do what I tell them needs to be done in order to help their dogs and themselves. Very rarely do people say sure whatever you tell me to do I'll do it! It absolutely blows my mind every single time, and that's why I only work with 1 out of every 15-20 people that contact me. Even some of the ones I've worked with go back to being the same old dog owner just a few weeks after their dog goes home and that means their old dog prior to board and train will also show back up... some folks just never want to get ahead, get out of their own way or do right by their dogs because they're just to interested in themselves, their needs and what feels good and easy to them. The example I always use to relate to those situations is this... If you need/want to lose weight but keep eating unhealthy and don't exercise you're only going to continue to gain weight and you'll never lose any. It's either a 100% commitment to a lifestyle change or it's nothing in order to be successful or unsuccessful. Unfortunately most choose not to change or if they do, it's a half ass attempt with some excuses thrown in there as to why it is that way. I personally chose the 100% lifestyle change route and I have these two badass companions to show for it. Was it easy to change, no. It was one of the harder things I ever had to do (keep in mind I was an a emotional dog owner and not a logical one yet, many years ago), but I knew in order to for them to become the dogs they've become that it needed to be done. We lead a very healthy lifestyle, if you get what I'm saying smile emoticon
Final word. Stop bitching, complaining and getting frustrated about your dog's behavior, and stop asking for help if you're not willing to take a look at your own behavior and lifestyle and change it. And if you ask someone for help be prepared to hear an answer that doesn't fit into your lifestyle or who you currently are as a owner in order to fix it. Obviously what you've been doing or allowing hasn't been working, and it will continue for always and forever not to work. Even the most difficult of dogs are easier to train then the owner sometimes, and that's a fact!"