Trek to the Water Bowl

REMINDER – it is a long walk to the water bowl for a dog with arthritis or other mobility issue.  When the dog is lying down, his trek begins with the process of standing up.  Pain, discomfort or fatigue can sometimes cause the dog to forgo the trek.  This can reduce his daily water intake.  Not good. Help your mobility-impaired dog stay hydrated.  Take water to his resting area, offer him a drink.  Position the bowl so he doesn’t have to strain to reach it.  Comfort is key. Water is offered to GingerPeach and Rocky several times a day.  Though Continue Reading →

New Year, New Certification – CSMC

First news of 2015 – happy to announce I’m a Certified Stress Management Coach!   Helping people manage the stress in their lives has always been crucial in my work at SMART DOGS.  Why?  Stress affects all of us – for better and for worse!  Stress affects learning & behavior – for better and for worse!  Mismanaged stress feeds undesired behavior and decreases wellness in dogs and in people.  Stress from the human end of the leash causes stress at canine end of the leash.  Stress from the human end of the leash affects progress at both ends of the Continue Reading →

GingerPeach has Wheels!

  GingerPeach is rockin’ & ROLLIN’!  She now has wheels!  A Rear Support Wheelchair by K9 Carts, the Pet Mobility Experts since 1961.  We’ve had it for 13 days now and we love it. This lightweight, beautiful, superbly-designed wheelchair (“cart”) supports her hind end 100%, which is exactly what she needs.   She was exerting far too much energy “dealing” with her very weak and unstable hind end.  Just trying to maintain balance while standing was zapping her energy and strength – leaving little energy for walking, exercise, enjoying her life. Without the cart, her hind end often sways when she Continue Reading →

Letting Dogs be Dogs

          I think many of us have heard or used a phrase like “letting a dog be a dog.”  I myself have used the phrase “dogs being dogs” in reference to pics and clips of the Posse enjoying miscellaneous activities of daily life (running in the yard and/or our field, digging for moles, picking apples off our tree, playing with each other, tracking rabbits/deer/critters, etc.).  Students sometimes ask questions relating to “when should I let my dog be a dog?” The last few times I’ve heard this phrase it struck me in a different way… What Continue Reading →

Each Interaction Matters

Each interaction you have with your dog matters, none is trivial.  Each interaction either enhances your relationship, or damages it.  Each interaction either builds cooperation or causes resistance, builds trust or destroys it, creates harmony or conflict. Consider how many times a day you interact with your dog.  Be aware that each look, each word, each touch, each action and, yes, each thought contributes to and impacts your relationship. Think about all the interactions you have had with your dog today alone and consider each one’s effect.  With each interaction, were you enhancing or damaging your relationship? What type of looks Continue Reading →

Welcome to our blog!

Hello and Welcome to SMART DOGS‘ blog, where Dogs are beloved Friends, Family Members and Teachers! Whether you already know us from SMART DOGS facebook page, our Plumwood Posse youtube channel, taking Classes at SMART DOGS Training Center, or are meeting us for the first time, we hope our blog helps you Think, Learn, and Grow.  We also hope it helps you understand and use positive reinforcement and two-way communication to build strong, healthy relationships. Our blog emphasizes Learning, Behavior and Health – learning about yourself as you learn about your dog, with your dog, and from your dog; understanding Continue Reading →

Waiting your Turn

In the photo above, Geronimo and Rocky wait in the background while Piglet practices a tunnel. Being able to calmly, pleasantly, patiently “wait” is a crucial skill for Life in the SMART Zone where health, safety, harmony, and low stress levels prevail.  This skill is important not only for your health & stress level but also your dog’s health & stress level. Whether you share your home with 1 dog, or 2 or more dogs, there are numerous situations in your everyday life where a wait is useful.  The dog’s position while waiting might be a stand, a sit or Continue Reading →