About Me

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I am the Dog Trainer Girl. A wife to a wonderful husband, momma to 2 boys, one that is a mini-me and makes me call my dad and appologize on a regular basis. I am owned by a Corgi named Yadi. I'm a Baseball girl, who likes bats, ball and bases on my diamonds. Go Cardinals!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

When we need them as much as they need us

Yadi laying beside me as I work
Yadi laying beside me as I work on my laptop
One of the things I don't often talk about is my own need for a Service Dog. To look at me from the outside you wouldn't think I would need one.  I'm a successful dog trainer and entrepreneur, I have a lovely family with two boys and a very happy and amazing marriage to a husband who spoils me rotten.  Why would I need a Psychiatric Service Dog?

I grew up in very turbulent home.  My mom was an alcoholic and I watched her try to kill herself so many times it became almost normal.  I didn't understand that it wasn't something that everyone tried to do.  I began having my own battles with depression and anxieties when I was very young.  The first mental block I have was at age 13.  I don't have memories before that age, I have what I call photo memories.  I've seen a picture of something and my mind has formed a memory around that picture but I don't remember the actual event.  I've had several memory blocks since then, it seems to be my brains way of trying to protect me when I can not deal with things that are happening.

I have problems with people being to close to me, if a stranger gets into my personal space it often causes me to have a panic attack until I'm touching my husband or have my dog with me.  Once I know someone I'm ok with them getting close to me, but not until then.

Yadi snuggling in my lap
Snuggling with me after a long day of training other dogs
I have borderline personality disorder, PTSD and Secondary Traumatic Stress Burnout and trying to deal with stress sometimes is very hard. I have suffered from sever migraines since I was a teenager, and lucky me stress is a trigger for my migraines.  The more I stress, the worse the migraine is.
Lately I've developed new auras with my migraines, I've started becoming dizzy and light headed. Once Yadi picked up on it and alerted to me almost passing out but I've not worked with him on it since so it's something I really NEED to work on.

Sometimes it feels like the world is closing in on me and I just find myself wanting to crawl into my closet and cry, but my children and Yadi don't allow that to happen.  They need me.  My children do not always need me, but Yadi needs me as much as I need him.  He needs me to connect with him and feed him, and walk him.  He needs me to train him and take him to the vet.  There are days when I just feel like I just can't even bring myself to even think about working with him but if I don't, he will not be able to help me.  I need him to help me stop scratching when I get nervous.  I tend to zone out while I'm scratching and forget that I'm actually taking my skin off, until I'm bleeding.

I need him to help me be aware of when I am losing my temper because my brain has twisted something into something it was never meant to be.  I need him to help me be able to manage my own stress and what it causes my brain to do to itself.  Some of you guys will read this and relate to it, and some of you will not.

I don't write enough about Service Dogs and Service Dog Training and I should really change that.  Over the next few months I'm going to start a series of 100 days of training with Yadi and I will be working on his Service Dog training so I will be making a lot of posts about that.   The main think I need him to help me with is keeping me from using up to many of my spoons in one day.  I need to be able to pace myself better, I need him to help me with that.  I need him to help me remember to take a break and not try to take on the world when I'm already so drained.  I have a lot of people that are counting on me and I have so much I need to give them, but if I don't start taking better care of myself then there won't be enough of me to give them what they need from me.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Leash Restrictions

I've often spoken about how Yadi gets grounded and put on Leash Restrictions but I don't really ever take class time to explain just what that means.  I thought I'd write a post to explain more about what Leash Restrictions are, and how I use them.

When Yadi does something that proves that he has not quite earned the amount of trust that I have given him, he goes on Leash Restrictions.  I gets put on the leash in the house.  Depending on what he did, I may just let him drag a short leash or light now, I just hold the leash.  Yadi is pretty good on leash and doesn't pull when we are in the house so there are times when I'm busy doing something that I will just put the loop for the leash over my foot so it's around my ankle.  I have control of him at all times.

This latest round was cause because he decided that he wanted to chew on electrical cords.  I'd rather have him leashed up with me in the house than dead from chewing on a cord that is plugged in.

I use the time I have him on leash to work on his leave it or his recall.  it's a good time to work on anything really because they can't get to far away from you.  This is a wonderful technique for potty training as well.  You have your dog with you though and they are learning how to behave around you rather than being locked in a crate away from you.  This is such an important skill for our dogs to learn.  If we always lock them away from us they don't learn how to behave around us, they only learn how to behave away from us and that does not make them part of our family.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Potty Training Part 3

7 Puppies can not control their bladder until they are about 6 months oldOur puppies are born much like our human children are, their organs and little bodies are still developing and forming.  They do not gain control over their senses until about 12 weeks old and are not capable of holding their bladder for more than a small period of time until they are about 6 months old.  The general rule of thumb is an hour per month of age, give or take an hour.  So a puppy of 12 weeks can only hold their bladder for 2-4 hours, and that is still asking a lot!!!
8 What you clean with really does make the difference The smell in urine is held in enzymes in the proteins.  When we clean a lot of times we use cleaners that don’t kill those enzymes.  This means your puppy can still smell the urine in your home even when you can’t.  To him it means that sometimes it’s ok tousle the bathroom in the house.  Make sure the cleaners you choose say the are an enzyme killer, bio-enzymatic formula or something about enzymes.  If it doesn’t, don’t waste your money on it.
9 Just because you can’t smell it, doesn’t mean they can’tRemember I talked about that sense of smell they have.  My students hear this speech all the time and I’m sure are tired of hearing it but… A dog’s number 1 sense is their Olfactory sense, in other words, their sense of smell.  A male can smell a female in heat up to 3 miles away, let that sink in for a minute.  So back to #8 if your not getting rid of the enzymes your pup can still smell where he had an accident and will go back to that spot.
10 Potty Bells can be amazing things                            Most puppies just don’t know how to tell you they need to go outside.  The potty bells are bells we hang from the door and teach our pups that ringing them means we go outside.  We do this as we are potty training and they learn to use the bells to tell us they need to go potty.

Potty Training Part 2

In continuation of my getting ready for puppy series, here is Potty Training pt 2.
4 Rule of thumb 1 hour per month of age, give or take an hour
5 Feeding schedules are very useful
6 A crate is your friend
The Rule of Thumb – There is a general rule that trainers follow that goes along with lines of this… A puppy is able to hold their bladder for an hour per month of age, give or take an hour.  So if your puppy is 3 months old, they can hold their bladder at most for 2-4 hours.  This is not a steadfast rule it’s a generalization.  Some pups can hold their bladder long, and some just can’t.  They are born similar to our human children, their bodies and organs are still growing inside of them.  If spank them or get onto them for having a potty accident in the house, they just learn to hide it better.
Feeding Schedules are your friends – When I talk to pet parents about feeding schedules I mean that loosely.  I don’t mean that you have to feed your puppy at 6am and 6pm on the dot.
  • Give your puppy their meal, a lot 15-20 minutes for them to eat and then put them in their crate for 30-45 minutes (you can put their food in their crate with them, but you have to keep an eye on when they finish eating)
  • Leash up your puppy and take them outside.
  • Go to one spot and stand there, do not interact with them.
  • They need to get bored to go potty.
  • If they have not pottied within 10 minutes, take them back inside and put them back in their crate for another 10-15.
  • Leash them up and try again, repeat until they go potty.
Part of the problem is we think our dogs need to walk around and sniff and find the right spot, however, is just a huge distraction.  Our puppies get to running around and playing and forget why they are outside, then when we come inside everything is boring to them.  They remember then that they need to go potty, and then we go right there just back inside the house.
For Peeing in the house, Puppies need to go outside:
  • Within 5-10 minutes of visiting the water bowl
  • After waking up, even if it’s only been a short nap
  • After playtime
  • Every 30 to 45 minutes, until they are able to hold their bladders.
I’m in the middle of potty training a 3 yr old as well and I have to say, the similarities between potty training a puppy and a human child are definitely there!!
crateA crate is your friend – One of the things I hear a lot is that people think that putting their puppy in a crate is mean or is punishment.  Honestly, you have to look at it like this, when your toddler was learning how to explore the world around them, what did you do? You put them in a playpen or a bouncy chair.  So that we knew they were safe.
The same thing applies to our puppies.  They do not know what is safe and what is dangerous, all they know is how to toddle around and put everything into their mouths.  When our eyes can’t be on them, their crate is the best place for them.
Stay tuned for more…

Friday, May 3, 2019

Potty Training Part 1

First off, I’m going to apologize because a lot of you are not going to like what I have to say on this subject.  Most potty training accidents are our fault, sadly, so let’s look at the facts and try to find a way to fix the problem of potty training.
Potty training a puppy is a lot like Potty training a child, however, I seem to have so much more luck potty training my dogs than my son so maybe this post will help me in that respect.  As with anything else in dog training, Consistency is the key.  Whatever method you choose, you have to stick to it.  Let’s look at some of the most common things having to do with Potty training.  We have to remember that our pups can not, in the beginning, tell us they have to go, just like our kids.  We have to teach them out to tell us.  We have to pay attention to them and put the work in.
1 Accidents WILL happen
2 Rubbing your puppies nose in it, does NOT teach them not to do it again
3 Yelling at your puppy teaches them to hide their accidents
4 Rule of thumb 1 hour per month of age, give or take an hour
5 Feeding schedules are very useful
6 A crate is your friend
7 Puppies can not control their bladder until they are about 6 months old
8 Just because you can’t smell it, doesn’t mean they can’t
9 Potty Bells can be amazing things
10 What you clean with really does make the difference
Accidents WILL happen –  Let’s just be honest here and admit that there is no chance that you are going to make it through puppyhood without a single potty accident.  It will happen, what’s important is how we respond to it.  Whoops!!! We had an accident, clean it up and better luck to you next time.

Off The Leash Comics – Pick N` Roll
Rub your puppies nose it in – I’m sure we have all heard this at one point or another.  Honestly, ask yourself how does this teach your dog anything?  I mean we are talking about animals that willingly roll in anything that stinks???  (By the way, if you have never seen any of the Off the Leash Comics you are so missing out!!!)
Yelling at your puppy teaches them to hide their accidents – Our dogs are very perceptive learners. I’ll give you the short version here but if you want to know more just let me know and I’ll give you more details. Let me set the stage for you.
You come into the room and find that your puppy has had a potty accident, (this could have been 5 minutes ago or longer and your puppy has no idea that they are the one that had the accident anymore believe it or not).  When we yell at them for having a potty accident, what you puppy decides is that wow I don’t know how made that mistake but I better make sure I don’t poop or pee in front of mom or dad because I don’t want to make them so upset.
Now, this is where you get your puppies and dogs that will go and hide behind or under the furniture to poop or pee.  This is also the reason that some dogs will not use the bathroom on the leash in front of their parents.
Come back on Thursday for part 2 of Potty Training 101

Getting Ready for Puppy

Meet our little Yadi!!!  Oh my gosh, I’m super excited and can’t wait for May to get here.  I have a lot of work to do before his come home date though.  IMG_4665
Since I am a dog trainer and keep everything!! I do have a lot of the things that are needed for bringing a puppy home but there are still some things I need we started out with a basic list of the supplies we would need.
Let’s start out with just a few items at a time and talk about them and how we will use and train with them.

Collar, Leash, and Tags – Our puppies HAVE to have identification on them.  In the horrible case that we do not discover the escape route before they do, we need a way for whoever finds them to contact us.  I get asked all the time about what to put on a tag.  The most important thing is your dog’s name and your phone number.  I have also included on Loki’s that he is Microchipped.  I will do the same for baby Yadi when he is old enough to get chipped.  This way if for some reason someone can’t read my phone number they can always go to any vet or shelter and have my pup scanned and they will have all of my information.
Crate / Playpen – This is something that I firmly believe in.  I’m going to try something just a little bit different with Yadi than I did with Loki because I want to know for myself how it works.
I’ve always used a playpen outside my dog’s to secure them when I could not be watching them. (that’s when they get into EVERYTHING)
This time I have an Iris Playpen that I used with Loki that I will set up around Yadi’s crate.   His crate will be a 2 door crate with a divider inside, on one side with the door that opens on the front will only be large enough for his bed.  The other end will have a potty pad in it.
iris-playpenThe Iris Playpen has additional panels that can be added.  It’s a hard plastic that can be sprayed off outside if need be, and best of all, you can zip tie small toys to the joints so that puppy can play tug with his toys.  and they are not just laying on the floor.  They become interactive with him.

The idea is called a Puppy Apartment.  I’ve always said not to put puppy pads in the crate before because we don’t want out puppies to learn to lay in their accidents and learn that it’s ok.  This idea helps them to not lay in it and keep their bed away from their accidents as well so it might just actually work.  I’ll update more on that as we go.
Bed – I want to give Yadi a big plushy bed that will help him rest comfortably but the truth is, he is a puppy and he will have an accident on his bed at some point.  Until we are potty trained he will need to have a crate pad, similar to the one in the picture above.  The pads and mats can be put into the washer and washed with an enzyme killer to help keep him from wanting to potty on it again.
From April of 2018

The Kona Diaries - Secondary Fear Stage and Vet Visits

This morning I had a plan.  I was going to take Kona to Hollywood Feed for some social interactions.  Since spending all this time at home...