About Me

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!!!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Dangers of Using Aversive Training Methods


Four Quadrants

Dog training requires a basic understanding of what reinforcements and punishments are and how they work.  Your dog being the learner is the only one that can decide what is rewarding to them, as well as what is aversive to them.  
The most basic definition of Punishment is something that lessens the likelihood of a behavior from happening.  In dog training we use 4 quadrants to look at actions and decide if they are positive or negative to our dogs, to understand how learning works. 
The four quadrants can be difficult to understand but you have to learn how to look at them correctly.  Positive simply means that we add something, Negative means that we take something away. 
Reinforcements are something that the learner desires and deems worth working for.  A Punishment is something the learner deems is worth avoiding.  
Positive Reinforcement is where we add something the dog wants to work for in order to increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring.
Negative Punishment is where we take away something that the dog wants in order to decrease the likelihood of a behavior occurring.  
Positive Punishment (yes, I know that sounds crazy) is where we add something the dog finds aversive to reduce the likelihood of a behavior occurring.
Negative Reinforcement is where we take away something the dog finds aversive to increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring.  
Is your head spinning yet?
Now Let’s look at why it’s important to understand this.  
One of the most common aversive training methods used is a spray bottle of water.  While it is true that if we can interrupt an unwanted behavior and redirect our dogs to a behavior that we can instead reward that it will help teach them better behavior.  Punishments can go wrong if you don’t understand what it is you are trying to do.   
Take barking for example.  Your dog is barking at something, let’s say it’s the mail/ups man and he has come to drop off a package.  You ask your dog to stop barking and they ignore you because in the past when they have barked at the delivery guy has always left when your dog barked at him.  So, in your dog’s mind barking works to make the visitor go away.  A trainer looks at this situation and sees that your dog is being reinforced for his barking because it causes the delivery guy to go away, thus making it a self-rewarding behavior.
Dog chasing Mailman
Now say you come in with a squirt bottle and you spray your dog with water because he is barking at the delivery guy.  Your dog does not understand that his barking does not influence what the delivery guy is going to do, one way or the other.  Now, this could go a couple of different ways.  For it to work at all the punishment you give (the spray bottle) must suppress the barking.  If not then it will not work, if you have to spray your dog even twice then it will not work.  At best your dog learns not to bark as long as the bottle is in your hands.  This is one of the most common issues with aversive training techniques.  You see a dog associates everything they see and hear with what is happening to their bodies.  What your dog is learning is that If I bark while mom has the bottle in her hand, I will get sprayed, but if mom isn’t here then it’s safe for me to bark.  This inconsistency is why aversive methods do not work.  If your dog has even the slightest bit of anxiety or nervousness your dog could start to associate you with them getting squirted with the water bottle.  If your dog becomes afraid of this then they could start aggressing towards you when you hold things in your hand that makes think you are going to spray them.  Worse yet is if they associate that fear of being sprayed with other people that come to your home, or in general and become fearful or aggressive towards them.  
The negative fallout of using this type of aversive methods it is far-reaching, even to the point of causing your dog to become fearful of baths or even grooming.  Don’t forget the fact that your dog’s eyes are very sensitive and if you accidentally spray them in the face on a stream you could damage their eyes.  
A better way of teaching your dogs not to bark, ask yourself 3 questions.
  1. Why is my dog barking
  2. What does my dog get out of the barking
  3. How does my dog interpret my reaction to his barking
Once you can answer these questions then you can better figure out how to train a better reaction to the problem.  There are cues such as “Leave it” where you and teach your dog to turn their attention away from whatever they are focused on and focus on you instead so that you may give them instruction.  You may also need to desensitize your dog to the sound of your doorbell or of people knocking on your door.  The important thing is that once you know why your dog is barking you can fix the issue without doing anything that could cause lasting harm.
For more information on how to prevent barking or to train the “Leave it” to your dog, feel free to contact me at dogtrainergirl@michellehilldogtraining.com

Bark! BArk!! BARK!!!

After 12 years in this chosen profession, you would think that I could block out the sound of barking dogs. Some days are better than others, but when I’m overwhelmed with the items on my to do list, and my toddler is having a day where his voice volume is stuck at 11 – I have a very hard time being able to block out anything. The constant barking grates my nerves like nails on a chalk board. 
Yadi ITD
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
I am owned by this lovely little man right here. He is a wonderful boy, and very loyal to his family, especially our toddler son. He is SUPER smart and is an Intermediate Tricks Dog Title Holder. He doesn’t like us playing around with Ian to much and he can’t stand to hear him cry in his bedroom because his older brother has told him not to touch his stuff. Boys!!! Yesterday I needed to get some work done as that to do list was reach multipule pages. 
I sent the boys to clean up their room while I worked at my desk with a bowl of treats and we practiced Leave it, Place, and Recall while I worked on training materials for my classes.
When Ian started getting loud in his room Yadi would bark and take off running for the gate (about 15-20 feet or so from my desk). I would say the following: Yadi (wait 5 seconds) Leave it.
When he came running to my desk I would point to his blanket and cue him for Place. 
After 15 minutes of this, off and on, when I would say Yadi he would come running and sit on his blanet by my desk. I no longer had to say Leave it, or Place. He had done what we trainers refer to as chaining. To him the behaviors of turning away from what he was barking at and runing to his bed and laying down looking up and giving me his attention were all combined under the cue of his name. This worked GREAT until my husband came home from and started to read Ian a story. As he started in with the different voices of the characters Yadi started barking at him. I again started with the recall and Leave it. It took him a little while but he did finally start to ignore my husband as well. 
Now don’t get me wrong, dogs need to bark. Have you ever tried to go all day long without saying a single word? It’s not going to happen. I would however like him to stop barking when I call his name and thank him for letting me know something was going on. We will get it before long with steady practice though. 
One of the things we have to remember is to practice in the setting you want your dog to perform in. I could tell him leave it all day and he will leave food but if I want him to stop barking when the boys are playing, that is when I have to practice it.

Socialization isn't just about other dogs.



When it comes to training our dogs, we naturally think about teaching them things like to come when we call them, siting to greet our guests, and don’t steal the food off the table or out of our kids’ hands. We don’t typically think of Socialization as part of active training.  We know that Socialization is important, but most people don’t understand the true meaning of socializing a puppy.  Some think all that is needed is to take their puppy to be around other dogs and let them learn puppy social skills from the other dogs, but it is so much more than that. 
We have all at one point had a dog, or a friend that had a dog that was terrified of fireworks, or the kid riding a bike though the neighborhood.  Maybe we know of a dog that growls every time they see someone in a baseball hat.  Did you know that proper Socialization can help these problems?
The idea of socialization is to help our puppies to become accustomed to all the things that they could come into contact with in a way that helps to build positive associations with unfamiliar people, places and things.  Socialization starts within a few days of birth.  When a puppy is held and snuggled, they start to make a positive association with human touch, before their eyes are open to even see who is touching them.  This helps the puppies not be afraid of human interaction later in life.  
Puppies go through a developmental stage from 3-16 weeks called the Critical or Sensitive Socialization Period. This is the time when bonding occurs with people and other animals.  It is also during this stage that puppies will develop fear, and anxiety of new things in their environment.  
At 6 to 8 weeks their senses are not even fully developed yet.  We take our puppies from their nice warm whelping box with their mother and siblings.  As we are taking them home, we expose them to loud sounds and smells that are foreign to them. This can be very scary for a pup.  As a trainer, one of the most common complaints I hear from my pet parents is that the first few nights of having a puppy at home is the worst.  This is because our pups are scared, and don’t understand what is going on.  


photo courtesy of AJ’s Country Corgis

https://www.facebook.com/ajscountrycorgis/
It’s our responsibility as pet parents to make sure that we slow things down and help our pups build positive emotional responses to all the new things they are going to come into contact with.  We welcomed a new Corgi puppy into our home 8 months ago.  I researched my breeder and knew that my puppy would be raised in a home with kids and be handled on a regular basis.  My pup would be going to work with me to help train my students and their dogs, so I wanted a good head start on socializing.  
There are training games that allow us to help our puppies have a positive experience with new things in their environment.  One way is to have a supply of super yummy treats on hand when exploring new things and teaching them the Look at That game.  This game was made popular in the book Controlled Unleashed, by Leslie McDevitt.  The idea is to teach your puppy a cue that tells them to look at something you designate and then back to you for a reward.  Using this game, you can help your dog form those positive responses to everyday things such as other animals like cats, or Guinea Pigs, or horses.  Even things such as Mirrors, umbrellas and skateboards and let’s not forget the vacuum.  
For things like surfaces where we need our pups to be comfortable on a texture they feel under their feet, try a game like Kibble Scatter.  Nature is one of the best snuffle mats you can find.  If your puppy is nervous of walking on slick tile or on rough concreate try scattering a few treats and make it a fun game for your pup to go and find the treats on the ground.  Perhaps after playing Kibble Scatter, you could run around a little bit, encouraging your dog to chase you. Grass, tile, concrete and mulch will all feel different on their feet, we want them not to be afraid of any texture they could step on. 
Another big obstacle I hear about and actually have dealt with first hand with my Corgi pup Yadi, is sounds.  Our puppies hear things much better than we do.  There are often times when they hear things that we do not.  Fireworks are the cause of many dogs becoming lost, severely injured and even killed.
I live very close to a major University and after a sporting event they set off a rather large number of fireworks.  Our Yadi, got very upset and started running back and forth in the house with his ears pinned back and his eyes very wide.  His body language was screaming how scared he was.  Thankfully he was in the house because every BOOM!! sent him running further way from me.  
I downloaded the sound of some fireworks and would sit with him while hand feeding him and let the sound play on the lowest volume of my phone.  When we snuggled together, I would play the sounds while rubbing his belly or scratching his back until I was able to slowly increase the volume.  Hopefully the next time he hears those booms they will not cause the same reaction in him.  My goal is for him to come running towards me for a treat or some snuggles.  


Baby Yadi Sleeping away while I was working.

The other important thing to think about is what you wear verses what your pup might see on other people.  When I was teaching puppy classes in a retail pet store, there was a young guy that had really long dreads in his hair.  When ever he would walk by my class ring, the puppies would start barking at him and stop focusing on their parents.  We used the game to Touch to teach the puppies to go up to him and touch his hand for a treat.  With this game we were able to help the puppies learn that he was nothing to be concerned about.  This is also a good thing for people that wear hats, or sunglasses that make your puppies uneasy.  
If you have any questions about any of the games I’ve talked about here, or for help with socialization issues, please feel free to email me at dog.trainer.girl@gmail.com

Positive Changes of Dog Training

In the last century dog training has been under going an evolution of sorts.  It wasn’t so long ago that the lexicon of dog training included words like punishment, compulsion and Intimidation.  The tools of the trade where things designed to inflict pain and cruelty as a way of training dogs to do or not do things the handlers wanted.  Dogs were punished with ear pinches and the like, if they didn’t perform the desired behaviors.  The idea of training a dog was to break the dog of some bad habit it had.  
One of the forefathers of scientific study into dog behavior was Edward Thorndike (1874-1949).  He studied the effect of positive reinforcement on dog behavior.  Thorndike called his study the Law of Effect.  His study put forth the idea that the key to understanding how to train dogs was to understand canine behavior.  Behaviors that produce an effect that is desirable are ones that a dog is more likely to repeat, whereas behaviors that produce an undesirable effect are ones that are less likely to be repeated.  He gave us our entire foundation for trial and error training, which helped us to focus on problem solving skills during training. 
Skinner's Box
Photo Credit Levelskip
BF Skinner (1904-1980) one of the most well know figures of Behaviorism, built on Thorndike’s findings with the help of a mouse in a box, to reveal a better detailed picture of the principles of learning.  This is where we learned that desired behaviors should be reinforced and can be shaped in incremental steps to form complex behaviors.  Skinner also helped us to learn that animals need immediate reinforcement to better facilitate the learning process. 
Marian and Keller Breland, both students of Skinner, worked to merge the fields of professional animal training and modern behavior science.  They wanted to teach people there was a more humane way to train animals.  It was through their efforts that the world of dog training was introduced to the idea of using kindness instead of fear and force as well as the principles operant conditioning.  After the death of Keller Breland, Marian met and married Bob Baily, together they couple worked with a non-profit organization to train service dogs.  Their work to bring forth positive reinforcement dog training can not be emphasized enough.  
The basis for the positive reinforcement dog training that we know today came from the work of Karen Pryor.  It was her thoughts and theories published in her 1984 book Don’t Shoot the Dog, that brought positive reinforcement and clicker training into mainstream dog training.    
Karen Pryor
Karen Pryor
Clicker training is a good way to help dogs learn to exercise those problem-solving skills, in a positive way.  The clicker by itself means nothing to our dogs, however when we apply behavior science, we are able to teach our dogs that the sound of the click comes when they have done a behavior that we desire.  Thus, teaching them that the behavior they are doing is when they hear the click that they will receive a reward that they have deemed worth working for.  Allowing us to shape or capture behaviors that our dogs do that we desire.  The best example of this being put into practice is, well just about every behavior our dogs do thankfully.   Let’s look at the behavior of rolling over. 
To get a roll over the first thing our dog needs to be able to do is to follow a food lure.  This means that our dog will simply move toward at treat you hold and move with your hand. 
Start your dog off in a Sit.  Holding your treat just at your dog’s nose your going to lower your hand slowly down toward your dog’s front feet.  Be careful not to pull the treat out in an arch from your dog’s nose or they will stand up to follow it.  As you lower the treat down, they should follow it down until they are laying down on their stomach.  
Once your dog is in a down position, your going to take your treat and move it slowly toward their shoulder.  As their had follows the treat around they should flop over to lay on their side.  Continue to pull the treat over and they should flip completely over back onto their stomach again.  At this point you would click and give them their earned reward. 
Tippy and Yadi
All training can be this easy when we learn to apply behavior science to work with our dog’s natural thought processes.  When we work together with our dogs to learn new behaviors or new ways to respond to specific situations amazing things can be accomplished, but we have to learn to think out of the box.  Dogs do not think the same way we do, but they are highly intelligent. Our dogs learn what we teach them.  To learn from our past instead of trying to “break” a dog of a habit, we should instead be teaching them a new more desirable habit.  Such as how to greet people, instead of allowing our dogs to practice jumping up on our guests and strangers we should be actively teaching them how to sit to greet people. Using your leash and keeping your dog focused on you while you meet other people will help your dog learn that they need to stay calm when people approach them.  To help them learn to remain sitting when someone comes up, have them sit before allowing people to pet them.  If your dog jumps remember to ask the person to back away without touching your dog.  They will learn that if they put their feet on a person, it causes that person to go away.  Dogs are very social beings and love to greet and get attention from others.  When they make the connection between them jumping up on someone and it is causing that person to go way, they will stop jumping up, allowing them to calming wait for someone to come up and pet them.  
Training with our dogs should always remain fun and positive for both the human and the dog.  Our dogs are emotional mirrors, meaning they take in our feelings and reflect them back to us.  If we get frustrated because we are having a hard time communicating to our dog what we want them to do, then they will also become frustrated trying to figure out how to understand what to do.  Dogs are very good at problem solving, just not the same way that we do.  Always try to end your training sessions on a happy note, with a success even if it’s not the big finish that you wanted.  
For more information on positive reinforcement training or any dog training questions, please email me at dog.trainer.girl@gmail.com

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Markers - Orientation Series

This is an Orientation Series Post

So, what is Positive Reinforcement Training?

It is the method of using kindness and compassion to teach our dogs that if they willingly do the things we ask it will bring them good things. The science behind how animals learn has taught us that behaviors that are voluntarily offered by our dogs are much stronger and more reliable behaviors than those that we compel our dogs to do out of fear or punishment, also known as aversive methods.

Positive Reinforcement or R+ often use the following things:

A Marker to tell our dogs that they have done what we are asking them to do. This could be a clicker which is my favorite for working with puppies. Or this could be a verbal word such as Yes, or Good!

Your Treats are what is known as a Primary reinforcer, which means that they are the primary reason that your dog is working.

Your marker is a secondary reinforcer, which means that it predicts the delivery of a treat. Using a marker has been shown to speed up the training process as well as activates the learning center of your dog's brain.

The first step in using a marker is to make it valuable to your dog. We have to teach them that the marker means they have done something that is worth getting a treat for. This is the way that I and many other trainers do it:

  • Take a handful of your dog’s food
  • Press your Clicker or say Yes! Or Good
  • Pop a piece of food in their mouth

After 20 pieces of food, wait until your dog is not paying attention to you and click, see if your dog’s head whips up to look at you when you click.

If your dog pays attention to the click your on the right path, if not repeat for 20 more pieces of food and then check again.

It is very important that during this teaching phase you do not ask your dog to do anything. This is also the last time that you will click to see if your dog looks back at you. Contrary to the belief of the makers of Jurassic World, a Clicker is not used to get attention during training but don’t get me started on that tangent.

The most important part of using a marker is timing. You must catch the behavior the second that it happens. If you are to soon or too late, you could be marking a behavior that is not what you are looking for. Think of it like this, whatever your dog is doing when you click, is what you are telling your dog that you like because you are willing to pay them with food for doing it.

Most puppy parents have already taught their dogs to Sit when they come into my classes so I use the Sit behavior to demonstrate how the marker should be used.

  • Hold a treat in your hand right at you dogs
  • Slowly raise your treat up over your dogs head (think of aiming to move right between their ears)
  • As their head follows the treat up, their bottom should go down to the floor
  • Click or Yes the second that your dogs bottom touches the floor.

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Value of Reinforcements

The one thing I hear the most as a trainer is, “my dog just won’t listen to me”.
During the first class of my manners courses, I always talk about what reinforcements are. I try to stress to my students that it really doesn’t matter what we (the humans) want to give our dogs, but what they (the dog) deem worth working for.
I stress the importance of playing around with things like food and toys to see what your dog likes to work for.
Take my own dog, for example, Tazie, a Chihuahua / Corgi Mix, that was always been rather picky over the years about what he wants. Some days he will work all day for just plain training treats in chicken or liver treats.  Then there are the times when something else has his attention and I need to pull out cheese, then you have the days where he only wants to play with a toy and fetch and tug games are the best things in the world.
When talking about writing this post with one of my very best friends and fellow trainer, she reminded me of a commercial a year or so back from Trident gum where the babysitter was so happy that the parents were paying her in gum. That’s what we have to keep in mind, what do our dogs value?
Several years back when I first started training, I worked with a Vizsla named Buffett. He had a huge play drive and was ball obsessed. I could have a t-bone steak in one hand and a tennis ball in the other and he wouldn’t think twice about grabbing the ball. I was able to use the ball and a game of fetch as a reward for him doing what I asked. Your reinforcement doesn’t have to food based, remember it’s what your dog wants not what you want to give her. I’ve worked with dogs that couldn’t care less about food or toys but would get so happy when their owners would lean down and scratch behind an ear for a sit or a down. There are other dogs that will move mountains just to hear their owner’s happy voice praising their behavior.
Next time you take your dog out somewhere be prepared, take along some super yummy treats (and we are not talking this morning’s leftover kibble), or your dog's favorite toy, and don’t forget your baby talk voice. When your dog’s attention is taken away from you, baby talk her and pull out the yummies, make yourself more interesting than everything else.

What Does Fear Look Like?

Fear is not just a human emotion, dogs suffer from it too. Sadly it’s all too often that we as humans get caught up in our daily lives and simply don’t see the signs until something happens to catch our attention. Then we wonder, where did that come from, “Fluffy has never done that before…”
There are three classifications: Anxiety, Fear and Phobias. Dog Trainer and Author Nicole Wilde defines these perfectly in her book Help for the Fearful Dog (A must read for anyone with a dog with fear issues).
Anxiety is the feeling of apprehension, anticipation of future danger, in other words, a concern that something bad might happen.
Fear is a feeling of apprehension as well, but the emotion is associated with the actual presence of something or someone that frightens the dog.
Phobias are profound fear reactions that are out of proportion to the actual threat.
Our dogs are not able to say “hey I don’t want to be touched by someone, it really bothers me because…”
The only way we have of knowing that something frightens Fluffy is to read his body language. It’s important for every dog owner to know how to read their dog's body postures to know what is going on with them. You need to know your dog's normal posture to be able to read when something is different.
When you look at this picture you can easily see this little guy is afraid of something. Notice how his whole body pressing downward. Also, his ears are folded back against his head.
When you look at the eyes of a dog and they are open so wide that you can easily see the white of the eye, we call this Whale Eyes. This is a classic sign of fear in dogs.
 You may also notice your dog panting (even when they are not hot and have not been running or playing hard). You might also see them sticking just the tip of their tongue out as well.
 The above picture illustrates the most common fear related to body postures.
Spend some time watching your dog when he is relaxed at home and comfortable notice the position of his ears and tail. Then next time you are out and about with your dog, pay attention to his body and see how he is reacting to his environment.
Remember it’s our job to be an activist for our dog's health, both mental and physical. If you notice that something is causing your dog fear, contact a trainer in your area to help him overcome his fear in a healthy way, before it becomes an issue.
To find a trainer in your area that uses positive training methods, use the trainer search at http://www.apdt.com If you are interested in reading Nicole’s book, Help for the Fearful Dog.  You can find it at her websitehttp://phantompub.com/

Is Humanizing Harmful to Our Dogs

Anthropomorphize –  “the attribution of uniquely human characteristics to non-human creatures and beings, phenomena, material states, and objects or abstract concepts.”  Eric Goebelbecker
 How many times have you or someone you know referred to a dog as a “four-legged child” or “Fur Kid”? I myself have many times. In itself, there really is nothing wrong with wanting to treat your dog like one of the family but just as you would look out for the well being of your family members, you have to look out for your pet’s as well. Going overboard on how much you baby your pet can be psychologically harmful to their well being.
 Dogs need certain things for them to lead healthy happy lives. The top 5 are:
1. A confident leader - not a dominant pack leader, but someone who sets rules and boundaries and helps hold them accountable to them.  Someone who helps them to LEARN how to live in our lives. 
2. Exercise - actual activity to burn energy.  This can be play in the back yard if it's structured play.  A good long 30 minute or more game of fetch or chase in the yard.  Running through an Agility course.  
3. Structure -  Making Training an everyday part of life.  Sitting before going in and out of doors, not dashing out a door just because it's open.  
4. Rules - Those rules and boundaries we talked about in #1.  Don't jump on our guests, don't steal food from our hands or our tables and such. 
5. Boundaries - Only allowed up on the furniture when invited up.  
The above are just examples of boundaries we have in our house.  Every house has to set its own rules and boundaries.  When we do not set these ground rules, we don’t understand the real harm that we are causing our dogs. Our lack of consistency can sow the seeds of Separation Anxiety in our dogs.  
By imposing thoughts and behaviors that are not really part of our dog's thought processes, we try to make them seem and “act” more human. Dogs have drives that set them apart from humans. The three main drives of dogs are prey, defense, and pack. Each of these drives causes dogs to behave in ways that we do not always understand. When we treat our dogs like they are little humans we are not looking out for their best interests. By assigning human traits and personalities to dogs we turn a blind eye to their language, behaviors, and needs. Doing this can cause serious psychological problems for the dog that can manifest in a number of different ways including stress, chewing, and even digestive issues.
Prey drive is something we have almost all dealt with.  When you see your dog going after his stuffed toy making it squeak and tearing the stuffing from it, that is Prey drive.   The reality of the situation is that he is practicing killing skills. These are basic innate attributes that dogs have that passed down for generations, no amount of carrying them around in a little fashionable bags is going to change that.
 I  met a little dog, who we shall name Fufu (to protect her true identity) that was unable to even interact with other people and dogs because of her fear. She had been adopted from a pet rescue. The owner had not properly socialized her and treated the dog as her child. She cradled her like a baby against her chest and protested against the fact that her dog would need to go outside. These situations are not good for dogs. If her owner would just allow her to “be” a dog and give her the things she needs in her life to be stable, I think she would have had a very different attitude towards other dogs and people.  In itself being “babied” as such may not be to0much for some dogs, but this little dog was so fearful and nervous that she couldn’t even hold down her breakfast.
It’s often said of humans that we need all things in moderation I think the same principle should also be applied for how we humanize our dogs. Take dressing your dog for example. You have the owner of a short-haired small dog who puts a warm shirt or coat on their dog in the winter versus the owner who dresses their dog up in PJs every night for bed. The first owner is being responsible and looking out for their pet while having their pet out in the elements. Is the second owner is taking it a bit far and treating the dog as they would their child in dressing them for bed?
Which one do you think could be anthropomorphizing their dog?
Update:
Since originally writing this post I have gotten my dream breed.  A Corgi, I do indeed put pajamas on him at night but it's to keep him from shedding all over my bed more than anything.  

A Few More Days of 365 Days of Training Adventures

Little Red It’s been quiet the busy week so far.  Monday was a cold and wet day so I stayed inside with the Doodle Bug Puppies.  While ...