Blog posts from November, 2009

A Better Way To Walk Your Dog

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | November 30, 2009 ~ 6 Comments

The other day as Vinnie and I waited to cross the street, an out-of-breath woman caught up to us. She had an exasperated look on her face and no wonder. She’d been hauled to the corner by Mindy, her medium-sized doe-eyed retriever mix.

“She’s so strong and I just haven’t had time to teach her to heel,” the woman said. She was thinking of outfitting Mindy in a prong collar, hoping that would curb the leash-pulling.

I’m not in the habit of offering unsolicited advice but I couldn’t bear the thought of metal prongs digging into Mindy’s soft neck. Actually, I don’t like the idea of prong, choke or pinch collars on any dog. Those devices use pain and force to control dogs, can cause serious injuries to doggy tracheas, can create on-leash behavior problems, and aren’t necessary, as I’ll explain shortly.

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Saving Dogs’ Lives One Click At A Time

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | November 10, 2009 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

The other day I told the kids in my humane education class that they’re not just training shelter dogs, they’re saving lives. At first blush, that may sound like an outlandish claim. On closer examination, it really is true.

One of the primary reasons dogs are relinquished to shelters is due to behavioral issues that could easily have been prevented or curbed with positive training. Continue Reading

Veggies-Before-Dessert Approach to Dog Training

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | November 04, 2009 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

Veggies-Before-Dessert Approach to Dog Training

We recently returned to Willowside Ranch for Vinnie’s first herding lesson. He started panting and pacing in the car as soon as we turned off of Highway 1 to Pescadero. The closer we got to the ranch, the more excited he got. By the time we parked the car, he was emitting short quiet whines and scratching at the window. I was certain he knew exactly where we were – the glorious place where he gets to herd sheep.

My husband gamely agreed to be the handler – the human who goes into the pen with dog, sheep and herding trainer. I watched, curious about how you train a herding dog to do his thing under human direction.

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