Dogs help us bring out our best self

’ll be honest...when Piper first came in for her b&t, she was one of those dogs i just thought “oh man..she’s going to be a tough one to break through to”, and she truly was but our mindsets of succeeding was much stronger. Piper is such a strong minded dog who just needed a lot of guidance, leadership, rules and overall just needed to learn the meaning of the word “no” and how to just relax her mind.
Teaching her to go in the crate when asked and lie down was our biggest struggle. She fought and she fought hard. Mailee and I spent countless hours of repetition, day and night trying to figure out what would work best. Once we finally broke through to that non-sense, suddenly everything else became a breeze and we started seeing the real dog under the layers of excitement, brattiness & nervousness. 
Piper was reactive on leash when she saw other dogs, she was scared of the sound of the crate latch. Every-time i slid the crate’s door latch, she would pop up, break her down and put up a fight. We worked through this a ton as well with a food protocol and now she could careless about the sound of it. We were told she would also bark when she heard motored sound and sounds of tools. 
On her 2nd week of training, we tested her out with doorbell, sound of drills, etc. she didn’t bark. My explanation to this is, once we get a dog in a calm state of mind and when a dog is finally self aware, they can careless about all the other things going on around them, thats the beauty of training dogs and seeing their true healthy self. 
Finally I just want to say that Piper is an amazing dog. Dogs like her are the ones who stick with me the most. We had issues, but we worked through them. It was hard but now we’re in a really good place so all of the struggles and bumpy road we went through don’t even equal the amount of love we have for this dog. 
We have an excellent relationship and this is why we friggin love training dogs, they bring out the best of us in every way.


Read More
Lise LoComment
Nail trimming

Today was the first real nail trim day with Clutch..
The struggle was real. She fought me, she nipped me, she pulled her paws away..we disagreed on so many levels 
however, we did the food protocol that we always do with all of (our clients) dogs and we finally got them all. 😉🙏
The younger you start training, clipping, getting them used to new things, the better they will do in the long run👊😇

Read More
Lise LoComment
Treadmill for our dogs

Teaching our dogs how to walk on the treadmill is an effective tool for our dogs to gain confidence and to work them mentally!
If you have a food driven dog like Clutch on the video, you can use food to motivate your dog to go onto the moving surface. If your dog is not so food motivated or stress overrides your dog’s food motivation, then use leash pressure to guide your dog!
This is not a substitute to walking your dogs, however it is an added bonus to your dog’s daily life!

Read More
Lise LoComment
How much "pressure" can your dog handle?

How much spacial "pressure" can your dog handle?

you always hear us talk about 'pressure' in our training world. What is pressure when it comes to the photo we have posted below?

Spacial Pressure is when someone or another dog, or something in the environment approaches into your dog's space. (for example: a person's hand trying to pet your dog, another dog jumping on them etc..pretty much trying to make contact)

Indie- our main FK9 has high tolerance for pressure. Most dogs have a low threshold, especially for puppies like Clutch moving in into their space. We allow Clutch to be "annoying" with Indie because we know her fully. We know that Indie won't attack Clutch but she definitely will correct her if needed. Also, if Clutch is being too much for Indie and Indie moves away or runs to me for help, I advocate for Indie and create space between her and Clutch. This is crucial as I don't want Indie to lose trust in my leadership.
It's always a good idea to watch your dogs when they interact and supervise so that if one dog needs your help, you can advocate for him/her instead of letting them 'figure it out'.

Read More
Lise LoComment

Does “fixing”, neutering, spaying my dog change his/her behavior? We hear all the time from owners and get questions about how neutering/spaying will affect their dogs.
We don’t believe that it does. What changes a behavior in a dog is what we allow (through rewards) and what we punish (through corrections). (REMINDER: Punishment is not abuse, it’s not mean or bad, it allows our dog to differ what is allowed and what is not.) We’ve seen many dogs coming through our training program and 90% of dogs are spayed/neutered and still have behavior problems. Whether the dog is “fixed” or not, it doesn’t change their unwanted behaviors. Training and management helps with behavior issues.

Read More
Lise LoComment
Welcome Clutch

We’ve added a new addition to our family. Please help us welcome Clutch, the malinois.
This breed requires constant work and an experienced handler.
Clutch comes from working line parents and we will be doing sport work with her such as tracking, bite work and competition oB.

Read More
Lise LoComment
Want a better dog? It all starts with you

Our dog messed up because we messed up. It was no one else's fault but ours -We stopped blaming others, worked on bettering ourselves, wrote down our goals, took accountability of why our dog was the way she was, we changed our lifestyle habits, we stopped being selfish of our needs, started 'listening' to our dog, did our hard work and then everything changed & paid off.

Before we learned anything about dog training- (besides watching Cesar Millan's tv show)

We were one of those owners who would blame our dog's bad behaviors because of her past.. Long story short, Indie lived with a man who (supposedly)physically abused her (also why we thought she hated people -men specifically-). We used to use that excuse every time someone asked us what her backstory was because we were in denial that she had developed shitty behaviors because of us. It was never our fault, we were blaming each other and others. We were making excuses when she acted crappy. Just the whole denial/blaming shebang.

The reality of her issues arising was that we gave her comfort before respect. We never tried to stop her crappy behavior on leash but instead we avoided conflicts. We walked Indie out at odd hours so that we wouldn't run into people & dogs and boy if we did walk during the day and passed other dogs, Indie would go feral. She'd leave leash burns on our hands and she'd go bonkers until the other dogs were out of sight. She was in total control of our walks, it was so embarrassing.

That's when we finally realized we needed help, we needed to get trained & learn how to make our lives livable with a predator.

We always heard the phrase "you get what you pet" and never really understood that meaning until we started applying it. This was the very first thing Mailee and I worked on to better ourselves. We stopped petting Indie and Cubbie, stopped petting strange dogs, just admired them from afar and then it just became a habit to not pet them, it is called RESPECT. Was it hard? Of course it was but we stopped being selfish on wanting what made us feel good and instead we focused on what would better dogs. Trust us, overcoming the want to physically touching and petting cute fluffy dogs was the hardest thing to do as human beings. So, if you want to start seeing small changes and don't know where to start with your dog, start by not petting him/her and see if it's something that you can do and let us know how it goes.

Not petting our dogs (freely) helped tremendously in their behaviors. It especially helped Cubbie overcome his fear..We kept nurturing his fearful state (without knowing)by petting him and we didn't even know it- we were hurting instead of helping. And same with Indie, we nurtured Indie's nervousness around strangers instead of addressing it or advocating for her.

After creating new habits of no petting, we also removed free roaming entirely and the only way for our dogs to gain that privilege again was for them to show us that they could make better choices. (FYI-This is the 2nd exercise of lifestyle habit you can change with your dog TODAY). This is not forever you guys, but before the dog can roam freely, we want to make sure the dog respects you, your home, knows your rules of what allowed and what's not allowed. Plus, home isn't a zoo, it's a place you come back to for relaxation. Am I right or am I right? 😉

As we mastered the no petting, "everything must be earned" and no free roaming rules (YES those are rules!) - we saw some amazing changes. With Indie, she needed to be worked mentally (meaning - we needed to teach her how to gain impulse control and mastering staying still) but what truly flipped Indie's state of mind and bettered our relationship with her was that we finally took control of the walk, taught her a solid, very specific 'heel' command, we stopped being soft, we owned our mistakes and we shared valuable consequences when needed. With Cubbie, not petting him for 2 years actually helped him come out of his shell then we implemented confidence building and now he's 100% balanced and isn't afraid of anything anymore.

When we stop nurturing an unstable mind, we eventually see a different dog. TRUST US, it really makes a difference.

Of course along with all of that, we teach obedience (with strong impulse) to make sure we have voice control over our dogs, as well as teaching them not to rush out of doors, waiting for food etc. Something we do every single day, it just becomes part of our lifestyle. If you can apply these basic life rules with your dog, TRUST ME, you will get a better dog (not perfect there's no such thing, but better). When we start working on the HARD stuff to do that's when we see the real results.

It's never too late to turn things around.

In order to get a better dog, start building a better you.

Read More
Lise LoComment
2 household fighting dogs...

Olive & Roscoe -

How did we do it? How are they not fighting and off muzzles? Why are they able to coexist now?

We'll say it over and over again: Structure, permission-based training, no unearned petting, no unearned toys, no unearned bones, treats, no entitlements, no free roaming AND the big one: ACCOUNTABILITY. All of the privileges listed above HAVE to be earned by the dogs (and will continue to moving forward). Can they share a toy? No. Can they share a bowl? No. Can they share a bone? some dogs can, but Olive and Roscoe can't. If we allow them to, we're setting them up to fail. Valuable items can be given when they're in their individual crates. Most dogs don't like to 'share'. They're not humans, they're dogs.
They both have to: 
-Wait at threshold/front door/crate door until release by human - if they break, they get a correction and we bring them back behind threshold.
-Walk in a proper heel position when on walks - if they pull, bark, lunge - a consequence is applied.
-Sit-stay until released (if the dogs break command, they get a correction and brought back to a sit)
-Down stay until released (same as above)
-Place in the home until released (same as above)
-We've hand fed both of them for the most part but when we let them eat out of a bowl, they have to wait for us to put the bowl down, give eye contact and then we say 'yes' and release for them to eat

When we got Olive and Roscoe in the first two weeks- 
We worked each dog individually first. We taught each dogs the rules of the house, our boundaries and the biggest thing that changed these dogs' state of mind is how we can hold them accountable when they act shitty while every thing is permission-based (which lets the dog know that the humans have things under control, which then leads to trust for us to help them out).

Also, these two dogs, they are the complete opposite of one another.

Olive- she's very wary of her space when it comes to other dogs and it takes her time to trust another dog. That is OKAY! She's not the social type, she tends to growl when they come too close to her personal space because she is uncomfortable. (it's communication, not aggression) We just have to respect that and ADVOCATE for her by moving the other dog away if they do not understand why she is growling. IF no one helps her out, she will take action on her own by...well, biting. She has a pretty low pressure threshold, we're very aware of that and it's our job as their leader to remove the other dog. Not only that she is extremely fearful of the world. We believe it could be lack of exposure so we are working really hard on building confidence with her. That's just a little about Olive..

Roscoe- he's an insecure dog, also high energy and his mind goes from 0-100 in seconds, especially when food is around or when he sees another dog. We believe he was invading Olive's space too much and had no spacial respect for Olive. She could not handle that much pressure and that's where things went wrong. 
It's all just excitability, not aggression and no one's just ever told him to knock it off. Incase you weren't aware, Too much excitement can quickly turn into aggression. That's why we always work on keeping dog's in a calm state of mind, as they make better choices. Roscoe was also known to chase shadows and attack Olive over it..We've done several test with shadows with him and he just doesnt' care for them. He has better things to do now, which is to pay attention to the handler & work for things he wants.

When dog's minds aren't stimulated- they will find their own ways of keeping themselves busy..We believe this is what was going on with Roscoe before he came to training. His mind is always being worked here and we just haven't seen any shadow chasing nor any guarding. He's actually doing really well and has learned that calm is the 'default' state of mind.
Olive is also doing well, she just minds her own business- she does tend to be a little too clingy with humans so when she invades OUR space, we move her away from us. If the other dogs get too close to her, we help her out by either, moving the other dogs away, or we recall them away from her.

Olive and Roscoe just don't have any reasons to fight anymore. Both dogs are treated equally, no one is loved more than the other. They both have to earn things they want. They get the same rules. Neither dog have any entitlements anymore. We're being fair, fun, consistent but always share consequences when most needed. That's how we gained their trust. That's how we got where we got with them. It's not magic, it's just work, supervision, management and leadership skills. Everyone can do it.

Read More
Lise LoComment