Blog posts from September, 2009

Dog Parks Are For Dogs, Not Puppies

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | September 29, 2009 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

Dog Parks Are For Dogs, Not Puppies

This week I saw something that set off my alarm bells — a 4 month-old puppy at a local dog park. As soon as the human guardian took the puppy off leash several big adult dogs bounded up to the pup and surrounded it. The puppy retreated behind the person’s legs. The person pushed it towards the dogs gently and told it to go play. Whenever the puppy ventured onto the field, a big dog charged after it barking, other dogs joined in, and one of them inevitably tackled the pup. Each time, she yelped and scurried back to her person with her tail between her legs only to be told again to go play.

She certainly wasn’t the first person I’ve seen bring a pup to a dog park. I’m sure she meant well and thought she was doing the right thing. She probably thought it was a good way to exercise and socialize the puppy to dogs. Well-placed though those intentions may be, bringing a puppy to a dog park isn’t a good idea. Continue Reading

Beyond Sit, Stay & Down

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | September 23, 2009 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

Beyond Sit, Stay & Down

Have you ever wondered just how far you could take your dog with positive reinforcement training? Can a clicker and some treats really teach your dog anything more interesting than sits, stays and downs?

The answer is a resounding yes. A clicker and some treats can take your dog further than you may have realized. In addition to the typical line-up of class offerings – puppy kindergarten, puppy intermediate, adolescent manners, basic manners – there’s a tantalizing selection of positive training classes, some all about having fun and some more serious. Continue Reading

Herding Tales

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | September 21, 2009 ~ 2 Comments

Herding Tales

When people ask me what my dog Vinnie is, I say he’s a herding mutt, a term that up until this summer I’d been using loosely. When we adopted him from a shelter, all we knew of his past was he was found on a dairy farm and his mother was an Australian Kelpie. But as for the rest of his DNA, who knew?

Border Collie herding

As he grew, I became convinced that he was mixed with another herding breed because he acts like one. He’s got their intense energy, smarts, focus and drive; he LOVES to train; and well, he herds. He’s tried to herd our cat and sometimes rounds up other dogs. When he’s out for a hike with his humans and one strays, he runs back and loops around the person until he/she rejoins the group. If given the chance, he’ll also “herd” moving vacuums, mops, brooms or rakes. That’s funny stuff! Continue Reading

Training is a Process

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | September 16, 2009 ~ 1 Comment

Training is a Process

As a professional dog trainer, I sometimes have to deliver news that clients aren’t eager to hear. One of the most difficult things to impress upon some people is that training is a process, and sometimes it’s a long one. We live in a world of instant access to information, sound bites and instant gratification. We’re increasingly expected to accomplish more tasks more quickly at work, sometimes all at the same time. We’re all busy. It’s no wonder that so many people want their dogs to master basic obedience immediately, or want behavior modification to happen overnight.

Vinnie’s Top 5 SF Off-Leash Dog Romps

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | September 10, 2009 ~ 4 Comments

Vinnie’s Top 5 SF Off-Leash Dog Romps

My dog Vinnie is a young Kelpie mix we adopted when he was a wee 4 months old. We’ve never had his DNA tested but I’d bet my last dollar he’s all herding mutt. He’s got the high energy, drive and smarts of a herding dog. And over the summer, he passed his herding instinct test with flying colors. Continue Reading