I recently got an e-mail from a friend who was asking for help for her rescued pit bull. Here's an excerpt from the e-mail (edited for privacy): "Hey Amber, I have a 1 year old pit bull. I've had her for 6 months. She came from a horrible situation. She was bred to fight (although I don't think she ever did), and was abandoned with two other pits and some cats in a north side house for a month with no food and only toilet water. She was bone-skinny when I got her (she was only at the rescue for 2 days), and she had mange and open sores all over her body." My friend is now looking to socialize this dog, and teach her some basic obedience so as to make her more adoptable. Currently, the dog has issues with people, especially men, that my friend believes (quite correctly) are because of fear issues. Apparently, she is also fearful out in public...a sure sign of bad socialization. (Click post title to read more.)
One of my favorite expressions in dog training is, "The only thing two dog trainers can agree on is what the third one is doing wrong." It's absolutely true. Rarely do two dog trainers see perfectly eye to eye on anything dog-related. This is a profession where opinions rule, and experience trumps facts. Why? Because while there is absolutely a science behind dog training, each dog has their own quirks and temperaments (and so do the people on the other end of the leash). What works for one owner/dog combo won't necessarily work for another. (Click picture to read more...)
What does it really mean when a dog trainer says they are "certified?" Click the image to read more.
One of the most important things a new dog trainer can learn are the three main principles in dog training: timing, consistency and motivation. Armed with these three principles, you can train a dog to do just about anything they're physically and mentally capable of. If you are ever finding yourself having difficulty in training, or if it seems to you that your dog is confused, ask yourself if you have fully observed the BIG THREE. (Click the image to read more.)