Early Morning Training: Trying the Behavioral Down Protocol

Early Morning Training: Trying the Behavioral Down Protocol

Sunday morning I woke up with a migraine, so all adventure plans with the pups were pushed back. As I looked over my To Do list in Things 3, I saw my weekly reminder to practice the behavioral down exercise with the dogs over the weekend.

Why not, I thought. Since we can't go anywhere as we wait for some medication to kick in, we might as well do some low-impact training. I put Bernie in the bedroom with Matthew, so they could have some quality snuggles while Lizzie and I tried the behavioral down protocol from Training Between the Ears with Mark McCabe.

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How to Register Your Dog for AKC Canine Partners

How to Register Your Dog for AKC Canine Partners

The American Kennel Club is not just for purebreds. Their Canine Partners program allows any mixed-breed dog to join the AKC to compete for titles in Agility, Obedience, Rally, and Tracking and Coursing Ability.

If you're not sure how to register your dog online for AKC Canine Partners, follow these ten step-by-step instructions to success.

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Book Review: Citizen Canine: Ten Essential Skills Every Well-Mannered Dog Should Know by Mary R. Burch, PhD

Book Review: Citizen Canine: Ten Essential Skills Every Well-Mannered Dog Should Know by Mary R. Burch, PhD

I read this official training publication of the American Kennel Club over several months. While you could easily read this book in a weekend, you could also opt to read a chapter here and there. Since the chapters are organized by each of the ten tasks a dog must demonstrate to earn the title Canine Good Citizen, you could also read these chapters in any order.

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Trying a Behavioral Down: Building Pup Confidence?

Trying a Behavioral Down: Building Pup Confidence?

Our trainer explained this confidence building exercise called a controlled down. Since I'm always looking for new exercises to help prepare the pups to be therapy dogs, I listened carefully. Unfortunately, I didn't write any of the instructions down, so when I gave this exercise a try a few weeks later, I was going off my memory of watching her demonstration in class.

The idea is that you put your dog on a leash with no distractions around. You give the dog enough lead so that he can sit. Create an atmosphere of complete boredom, give the pup no where to go, wait until he stops fighting the boredom by wrestling around, and he lies down. Twice.

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Socializing during the Downtown Lecture Series Simulcast at The Core at La Encantada

Socializing during the Downtown Lecture Series Simulcast at The Core at La Encantada

For the past three weeks, Lizzie and I have been attending the simulcast of the Downtown Lecture Series at The Core Health and Wellness at LaEncantada.

The lecture series is hosted by the University of Arizona's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. For their fifth year, they chose the theme Truth and Trust in the Global Scene.

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Sweating for the Pets to Support the Humane Society of Southern Arizona

 Sweating for the Pets to Support the Humane Society of Southern Arizona

On Sunday, October 22, the McSquare Doodles walked the University of Arizona's Mall to support the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in their Sweat for Pets: Walk, Run & Roll. This 3K event included 800 human walkers and runners, and 400 dogs raising $47,765.

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Practicing Loose-Leash Walking and Other Skills in Home Depot

Practicing Loose-Leash Walking and Other Skills in Home Depot

One of my training goals this fall is to visit different places with each dog separately. Give them each some special time with me and work on their socialization, basic commands, and loose-leash walking.

Sunday morning Bernie and I ventured over to the Home Depot. At first he was super distracted by the smells.

He wanted to sniff every cabinet and all of the lumber. I should have known. We joke about Bernie being a Sierra Club Member with all the sniffing and twig chewing he does. Even when I put him in his first sit-stay for some practice, he was not focused on me at all. He kept looking around and sniffing the air.

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Five Observations from a Test Administration for AKC's Canine Good Citizen Program

Five Observations from a Test Administration for AKC's Canine Good Citizen Program

Since last fall, Crystal Blaker from Ruff House Dog Training & Behavior Modification has been our favorite resource for helping us figure out how to manage various behaviors and scenarios with Bernie. A few weeks ago, Crystal invited me to observe four dogs taking the AKC's Canine Good Citizen Test.

While just two of the four pups passed the exam, I could tell that all of the human-pup teams had put in hours of work toward mastering the ten different tasks required for CGC.

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Considering Therapy Dog Work for your Pup? Here's our Therapy Dog Origin Story...

Considering Therapy Dog Work for your Pup? Here's our Therapy Dog Origin Story...

I've never been a dog person. Not exactly the first thought you were thinking you'd read, right?

Growing up, my mom's allergies were pretty severe, so our pets were Patty Bird the parakeet, fish, hamsters, and guinea pigs. In my twenties and thirties, dogs just always seemed so time consuming and needy.

I never thought I would adopt a dog. Never!

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