New Year's Resolutions

Kate Abbott, Petra Burke & Liz Palika  on Pet Life Radio

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions for yourself and your dog? The trainers from Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center in Vista, CA gathered together to talk about the resolutions they have made for themselves and their dogs, but also some problems they often run into in their training classes and so as a result, the resolutions some dog owners might wish to make. Maggie wants to make sure her service dog, Quimby, isn’t pushing her limits too much. Cayla wants to work with her German Shepherd, Teddy, and have him certified as a service dog before the holiday season next year. Debra says she needs to work on her relationship with her Australian Shepherd, Apache, because he doesn’t take her seriously even when he should. And there’s more! List to the show and perhaps get some ideas for yourself and your dog.


[introduction section] 


[introduction section]

Liz Palika:  Welcome to “It’s a Doggy Dog World” on Pet Life Radio.  I’m your host, Liz Palika, with my co-host, Petra Burke, and the entire crew from Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center.

Woman 1:  Hey!

[chorus of Hi’s!]

Liz Palika:  We’ve got the whole crew here for you today because, a week late, we’re going to be talking about New Year’s resolutions.  Not just New Year’s resolutions for yourself, but for yourself in relationship with your dog, and, goals for your dog.

What would you like to do with your dog this year?  Are you working on a new sport?
Would you like to do some herding, some fly ball?  Would you like to compete in obedience?  Or, just around the house?  Is your dog jumping on guests too much? Do you need to work on that?  Do you need to do some brush-up on your dog’s obedience?

There’s a lot of things we can talk about and think about for changing or benefiting the relationship that you have with your dog this year.  First though, let’s take a message from our sponsors.  But, don’t go away.  We’ll be right back.


[introduction section]

Liz Palika:  Welcome back to “It’s a Doggy Dog World” on Pet Life Radio.  I’m Liz Palika.  With me today is our co-host, Petra Burke, and the entire crew from Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center.

This show, we’re talking about New Year’s resolutions for yourself and your dog.  I know, first off, for myself, and with my four year old, or soon to be four year old Australian Shepherd, this year, we’re working on his service dog skills. 

I want to get him out in more places.  I want to make sure that he’s not fazed by the revolving glass doors because we had a couple of dogs spooked by that.  He’s been on an escalator, but he’s still not real happy with that.  So, I want to do that a little bit more.

I also want to work on his service dog skills as far as picking up metal objects.  He’s awesome about picking up everything, except metal.  So, like my keys, I put a little stuffed toy on my keys, so that he’ll pick that up.  And, he’s doing it.  And, he’s getting better about it.  But, he still needs some work on it.

Another thing I want to work on with my older dog, Riker, is his grooming.  He has such a thick, thick undercoat that I don’t always keep up on it as much as I should.  So, that’s one of my goals.

So, let’s go around and let’s talk a little bit about what people want to do with their dogs in this coming year.  And then, we’ll throw some other ideas out for you as far as things that we see in our training classes that perhaps other people might think about making a resolution.

Woman:  Frankly, what mine’s going to be this year, you know, same thing.  Getting the, well, Keely to pick up the metal things, like you were saying, keys, and stuff like that.  And then, my daughter Kayla’s has been working on our German shepherd to open doors and drawers and all that good stuff.  So, that will be a, that’s a, I knew you were going to…  I’m her mom.
Liz Palika:  She can talk about that in more detail on her turn.

Woman:  [laughs]  But, otherwise, I think, just spending more time and getting, doing a lot more work out there with the service dog program, and, our dogs, ourselves.  And, that’s what I can think of so far.  It’s a new year.  It’s fresh.  I still have to work on this.

Liz Palika:  OK, Kayla.   Since your mom started to bring it up, what are you going to work on with Teddy?
Kayla:  With my Shepherd, Teddy, I was, like, my mom had said already, I’m going to work with a service dog.  Hopefully, get him certified.

And then, my main goal is to be able to bring him on the plane which is going to take a lot of work this year, so…

Liz Palika:  Yeah.  We set some goals for you with that. 

Kayla:  Yeah.  And…

Liz Palika:  What are some of the individual things you need to work on?

Kayla:  There’s a few things, like getting him to stop whining so much.  Like, he’ll do little, do little whines once in a while.

Liz Palika:  Typical German shepherd.

Kayla:  Yeah.

Woman:  Shepherd crying.

Kayla:  And then, probably be able to like, he’s good with crowds.  Like, he does really good with it.  But, I think, have him open doors in public and stuff, and pulling a wheelchair.

Liz Palika:  OK.  Good.

Kayla:  That’s about what I can do.

Liz Palika:  Good.  How about all of his basic commands?  How are they?

Kayla:  Very, he actually has them; he has them down pretty well.  I have no worries about those.  Just mainly, service dog.

Liz Palika:  OK.  Great.  All right.  Maggie, how about you and Quimby?
Maggie:  I would say that with Quimby, the only goals that we really have is, she, she’s with me 24/7 now because she’s my service dog…

Liz Palika:  Right.

Maggie:  …and, she is sort of going through where she’ll test whatever she thinks she can get away with.  And, it looks really bad. So, I started teaching her to jump up to open doors.  So, she started thinking she can try and jump up on her favorite people.

Liz Palika:  Ah.  OK. 

Maggie:  Yeah.

Liz Palika:  OK.  How old is Scooby now?

Maggie:  She’s four.  She’s a little old to be going through that.

Liz Palika:  Yeah.   She’s old enough to be, not pushing that.

Maggie:  Yeah.  So, we got her past that.  And then, she decided that, OK, but, you know, maybe stay doesn’t mean stay forever, maybe stay means I’ll slide into a down.

Liz Palika:  Ah.  OK.

Maggie:  So, I’m going to work on making sure that I can refresh all of her basic commands…

Liz Palika:  Good.

Maggie:  …and, keep ahead of her on her on her new faces.

Liz Palika:  Good.  One of the problems that there is when you’ve got a very smart working dog is sometimes they think too much.

Maggie:  Yeah.

Liz Palika:  And, they think about things on their own.  Yep.  Anything else you want to do Scooby this year?

Maggie:  No.  But, with our older poodle, Chante’ who’s eleven.  My main goal for her is just getting used to her a lot because she doesn’t respect me.

Liz Palika:  Ah.

Maggie:  …because I am her child.

Liz Palika:  OK.

Maggie:  And, I’ve noticed she turns around and back talks me a lot.  And, I feed her.  And I walk her.  And, I pay attention to her, but she still doesn’t really like me, so…

Liz Palika:  You know what?  You probably…

Maggie:  …she doesn’t respect me.

Liz Palika:  You ought to do some games with her.  Do some fun stuff with her?
Find out something that she will like.  And, I know that’s hard because I know Chante’.  But, find some game that you can get her interested in.  So, that you and she can have a good time.

Or, convince her that it could be fun.

Liz Palika:  Yeah.  Convince her that it’s, she, because we know her.  If everything’s serious, we know, we know Chante’.   And, she’s going to continue to challenge you.  But, if you find something that would be fun then that might change her mind a little bit.  You and she could have a good time rather than butt heads.  So, something to think about.

OK.  Let’s go on.  Deborah, how about you and Caleb?

Deborah:  Well, with Caleb is an English Shepherd.  And, a very good and strong herding, you know, dog.  And, I’m finding that there’s a really delicate balance between the herding instinct and the prey instinct.

Woman:  Yep.

Deborah:  And, what I’m learning is he has the natural instinct and I just need to teach him how to control it.  And, right now, we’re working on herding geese.  And, he’s getting better.  He’s learning the right balance point for keeping them going a certain direction.  And, learning to back off when he needs to.  But, I think, for me, I need to learn a little bit more about how to guide him because he already has the natural instinct.  So, I just need to learn how to make the best use of that.

Liz Palika:  That’s very true because we can’t give them the instinct.  They’ve either got it or they don’t have it.  And, he certainly does have it.  And, he’s got it strong.  Both the herding and the prey drive.  But, we also know by watching him that he can control himself.  It’s whether he wants to or not.

Deborah:  Yes.

Liz Palika:  So, we’ve got to figure out someway to motivate him so that he wants to calm down and, keep himself under control.  So, yeah.  That’s going to be fun.  How about resolutions with his therapy dog work?

Deborah:  Definitely, I want to expose him to more varied situations.  I’m going, right now, we go to a school, and work with special needs children.  And, we go to a retirement home once a month.  And, we also work with hospice patients and visit them once a week.
And, he’s learning to adapt to each situation that he finds himself in and I’m real pleased with that.  But, I think he can learn even more how to attend to the patient and make sure that he gives them what they need while we’re there.

Liz Palika:  A lot of that is experience both on your part and on the dog’s part.  Because the dogs doing therapy dog work, learn to sense what the people need and that only comes with experience.

Riker, is going through that now.  He’s been visiting a daycare center for, a state-run daycare center for foster kids for about five years.  And, I just recently started taking him back to visit with seniors.  Because I figured since he’s eight years old now.  Perhaps, he was restrained enough that he could visit with the elderly because up to then…

Woman:  Not before?

Liz Palika:  …because up to then he was a little too rowdy.  And, I can see the wheels turning in his head.  He is starting to figure it out.  He has learned that he has to be gentler with the senior citizens he visits than with the kids.  Because a lot of times a visit with the kids was, they’d take him out on the playground and just have a wonderful old time out there. 

And, he could sit on their chests and give them kisses, which, of course, he can’t do when he’s visiting seniors.  But, I have to help teach him that, too.  So, again, it’s a matter of me showing him that he has to be calm in these certain situations.  But, there’s a certain amount the dog has to figure out on his own, too.  And, then we just reinforce to show him that, yeah, that was a good choice. 

Alright.  Deborah, how about Apache?

Deborah:  Well, Apache is my Australian Shepherd.  And, I noticed that he is excellent with the command influence that my husband has on the other end of the leash which tells me then, it’s not the dog.  Then, it’s the person on the other end.

So, my New Year’s resolution is to be more consistent.  Because I know I transmit down the leash my personality tends to be a little bit more hyper, should I say?  And, so, I need to learn how to keep myself calm when I’m telling the dog to be calm.  And, to follow through with the corrections, so, that he knows I really mean it every time.  Because he has this like 20-second delay where he’s looking at me, trying to decide, could I, do I really need to do it or not.  And, that, I want to, I want to fix that.  I want him to know I do mean it.

And, especially for the second New Year’s resolution which is I want to be able to have him off-leash more.  I have him quite a bit in my yard.  I don’t have it fenced.  But, he’s good off-leash, but I need that “Come” to be perfect every time from clear across the yard whether a rabbit jumps up or not.  So, that’s my, that’s our strongest resolution is to get that “Come” to be there every time.

Liz Palika:  Good.  OK.  So, how are you going to do that?

Deborah:  Well, I tried the really long lead to get his attention, but that’s not working consistently.  So, I’m going to need more advice.


Woman:  At least she’s honest.

Liz Palika:  Well, there’s a couple of things in play here.  And, I was going to mention it again with Deborah and Caleb that I mentioned with Maggie and Quimby.  The smarter the dog the tougher it is to outthink him sometimes.  I’m sure Apache knows very well that when the long leash is on, you have control. 

So, what we need to do is we need to do is back up a few steps.  And, we need to go back to a “Come” at a shorter distance and reward it.  And, make it the most exciting thing he’s ever done.  And then, we do it a shorter distance with a little more distraction, and make it the most exciting thing he’s ever done.  And, then we gradually increase the distance. 

But, the first thing we do is we back up to the basic “Come” again.  Dig out the cookies, the happy voice.  Get him coming to you, and “What a wonderful boy he is!  Yes, you are!”  And, make it very, very exciting.  And, get it 100% reliable there.  Then, we bring them out and we let them play.  And, let a couple of the dogs play together and take turns calling them off.   And, rewarding it, and making it exciting, and making it the best thing he’s ever done.

And, then gradually increase the distance.  And then, gradually increase the distraction.  But, remember, you’re only changing one training step at a time.  You don’t add distance and distraction at the same; you add one or the other.  So, that you, again, you set them up to succeed.  Like we talk about in class, set him up to succeed, and especially with the “Come”.

Woman:  And then, when it comes, when he’s ready for distractions, you guys can come to my house because we’ll have fenced yard with lots of rabbits.  And, Caleb and I have taught our dogs to “Come” when there’s rabbits out, to ignore them.  Yeah.  So, there we go.  Fenced.  He’s safe and distractions galore.

Woman:  Yeah.

Woman:  Yeah.

Liz Palika:  How about with his herding?  What are you going to work on with that?

Woman:  Well, there again, it’s the consistency of him knowing that when I’m, when I’m holding the leash and taking him through it, that he can’t charge the geese.  And, that he needs to use his skills and understand just how far he can pressure and when he needs to back off.  And, that he needs to pay attention. 

You know, I think the important thing, like we talked about today when we were out is teaching him a command and he understands that I, he needs to go forward onto the geese and yet with care not full out.  So, it’s learning a command like, “Easy” or “Steady” to get him to pay attention.  And, pull back a little when he’s pushing too hard on the geese and making them flap because we don’t want them flapping…

Liz Palika:  Sure.

…and squawking and everything.  So, that’s, that’s our big goal on the herding.  And, there again, sometime this year it’d be nice if he could actually go off of the lead.  And, have that, have that control.  I’m maybe too ambitious.  But, we’ll see.

Liz Palika:  No, you’re not too ambitious for that because remember a couple of weeks ago he did do that for me.

Woman:  That’s right.  I forgot that you had…

Liz Palika:  He was off leash when we were, he was working with me.  And, he was off leash as we worked the geese.  Until he discovered he was off leash and then he ran to Mom.  But, he did, he did work off leash with me and listened to my voice.  So, he can do it. 

He will probably do it sooner than Caleb will, unfortunately.  If nothing else that Caleb has the stronger drive.  But, all in all, when all is finished, Caleb probably has the potential of being the better working dog, but it will probably come a little slower. 
OK.  Well, we’re going to take a break for our sponsors.  Then, we’ll come back.  We’ll talk to Nicole.  Find out what her goals are.  See if anybody has thought of anything else. 

And then, we’ll talk about some things that you might want to, some goals that you might want to set for your own dog.  Some things that you might want to work on.  Things that we’ve seen in our training classes that are pretty prevalent that could potentially be changed. 

So, hold on for just a few minutes.  We’ll be right back.


[introduction section]

Liz Palika:  Welcome back to “It’s a Doggy Dog World” on petliferadio.  I’m Liz Palika, your host.  With me is Petra Burke, and the entire cast of characters from Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center.


Liz Palika:  Today, we’re talking about New Year’s resolutions and yes I know we’re a week late, but better late than never, gave everybody a chance to think about it, resolutions that you might set for your own dog, resolutions for yourself in working with your dog.  And, in a few minutes, we’ll talk about some common behavior problems, obedience problems that perhaps you might want to set a goal for yourself and your own dog. 

We’ve talked to just about everybody in our cast of characters so far, except Nicole.  So, let’s see what Nicole has to say.

Nicole:  ’07 was a hard year for my family and our canine squad.  We lost our three eldest dogs fairly closely together.  And, it’s been a little bit like an empty nest experience.  So, I haven’t had really gotten used to it yet to like set goals for this year. 

In the process, we’ve rescued, I think I mentioned the, this sort of we’re not sure what.  Border Terrier…

Woman:  Terrier, terrier mix.

Nicole:  Yeah.  Border Terrier, mostly.  And, if you read Liz’s breed book, you know that Border Terriers are a difficult trains because they have their own minds.  As well as, their biggest issue is coming on command, and, because they’re driven by their nose.

So, I would say for Mattie, her name is Mattie-Matilda, but, we call her Mattie, it’s coming when she finds something else more interesting.  So, she’s presently on a long line that I can get her when I need to.  And actually, she’s done very well.  She’s already gotten her CD, or CG…

Woman:  CGC.  Yeah.

Nicole:  CGC.  And, Bailey’s…

Woman:  And, so, she’s a good citizen.

Nicole:  Right.  And, she’s, and that was a goal I had set for her right away.  And, this year, I think my major goal will get her to fulfill a service role, and, maybe get into the service dog program with Kindred Spirits.

I’d like her to continue to do her therapy dog.  She’s terrific with children.  She is just a natural with children.  Nothing frightens her with them.  And, they can stick their hands everywhere.  So, I’m very pleased with her personality which is not typical of terriers in that area.  However, she is a little bit taken aback by the elderly.  Mostly smells.  And, she prefers being held. And she has gotten a sense of those who want her in their lap or who are touching her.  And, that’s worked.  But, the ones who are a little bit too delicate, she doesn’t know how to handle them.

So, that’s one of the goals for both of us to train her because I’ve never had a dog that’s had these issues.  She’s moodier as a Terrier.  She’s moodier than any dog I’ve ever had. 
She’s either really up or really down.  So, I’ve been reading everything Liz has ever written.  But, everything else I can find.

Liz Palika:  Well, I don’t think I’ve written that much on moodiness.

Nicole:  I know.  And, there hasn’t been a lot.  I’m learning a lot because all of my dogs have always been pretty happy with expressive ears and eyes.  And, I can’t always read her so that’s one of my goals is trying to learn how to read her.

Liz Palika:  I don’t think that’s strictly all terrier.  I think some of that is probably her background before you adopted her.

Nicole:  Yes.  Because we hear that it was a really traumatic background with some major loves and major losses.  So, that’s probably part of it.  And then, I’m also getting used to having a small dog.   I’ve never had, I mean, Michael was my small dog, who I just lost. 

But, he had a lot of herding dog in him.  So, he had all of the energy and go.  And, Maddie has a lot of energy first, and then, suddenly, she’s a very sedate child.  So, I’m trying very hard to learn about smaller dogs.  And, I am resisting the urge to get a larger dog because my husband set on another Labrador retriever. 

And, you know, so, it’s like I’m still in transition, but I’m glad 2008’s here.  And, I’m so grateful to have this family of people and their canines because it makes the loss of having a, the empty nest syndrome of loss of canine fur around you tolerable.

Liz Palika:  OK.  So, we’ve all told you about some of the things we want to work on personally.  Let’s talk about some of the things that we see in classes.  Some of the things that other dog owners are doing or perhaps that they should do. 

So, Kayla, you’re a Puppy Class instructor.  What have you seen in the last few Puppy classes?  What are some of the common things, without naming names now?

Kayla:  Well, that’s pretty… No, I’m just kidding.

Woman:  Protect the innocent. 

Kayla:  What I’ve seen lately actually is a couple of things.  First one, is puppy, pup, like getting a new puppy, I mean, they’re too, I mean, they’re adorable.  But, come on.  They can’t be in a bubble, so...

Liz Palika:  [laughs] Good girl.


Kayla:  It’s just people that like I have a big German Shepherd.  He’s like 300 pounds.  So, everyone that comes up to him, oh, that’s a big dog.  I don’t want him near my puppy when he’s actually probably by one of the best with puppies here.  He wouldn’t correct one.

So, having them in a little bubble, you know, just no, you’re not like, not letting people pet them.  Or, trying to like, you don’t want them in the grass because they’re going to get wet.

Liz Palika:  Oh.  That brings up the couple that was in your class with, what was that, a little Bichon mix?

Kayla:  Yeah.  And…

Liz Palika:  That didn’t want his feet to touch the ground. 

Kayla:  Yeah.  I never saw that dog hit the ground.  And, they never came back either. 

Liz Palika:  Yeah. 

Kayla:  But, and, another thing I’ve seen…

Woman:  It doesn’t matter who you are.

Kayla:  Yeah. 

Woman:  I’m glad we’re not naming names.

Kayla:  Well, they’re, yeah.

Kayla:  Yeah.

Woman:  Shush.

Kayla:  Yeah.  They’re…

Liz Palika:  Dogs need to walk on the ground.  I mean, it’s irregardless of the size of the dog; they need to walk on the ground.

Kate Abbott:  Well, you and I see it in the Basic class after they protect them as a puppy, then, all of a sudden, we have these behavioral issues with these dogs, you know. 

Liz Palika:  And, I will say…

Kate Abbott:  Never saw another dog.  I mean, she was always kept in the house.  And, we were afraid to bring her out to get sick or to pick up something.  All of the excuses in the book.

Liz Palika:  And then, the dog is…

Kate Abbott:  Regressive.

Liz Palika:  …suffering from a lack of socialization.  I will say that the many young female celebrities who carry these little pocket toy dogs…

Kate Abbott:  Yeah.

Liz Palika:  …as accessories.

Kate Abbott:  Yeah.

Liz Palika:  And, the dog never walks on the ground.  They’re doing dogdom a great dis-service.  And, I will say that Paris and Britney and the…


Liz Palika:  They’re doing dogdom a great dis-service.  No matter what size they are, dogs are dogs.  And, they need to…

Kate Abbott:  They’re not, like you said, an accessory.

Liz Palika:  They’re not an accessory.  They need to walk on the ground and sniff the grass.  And, get dirty and get muddy.  And, ok, so you give them a bath.  But, they need to be a dog.

Kayla:  And, another thing that I have seen actually today, and last week, and the week before, and the week before, is people repeating what they want their dog to do.  So, you have people going, Sit.  Fido, sit.  Fido, Fido, please sit.  Come on, Fido, sit.  And then, you hear them, Fido, sit.  She’s watching me.  And, you think it’s just when you’re peering over their shoulder, and they’re just, you know, it’s, so…

Liz Palika:  So, so, tell us why that’s important that, why one command is so important.

Kayla:  One command is so important, like if you, for example, if you take the fires that just recently happened.  And, you’re trying to get everything together.  And, you need to get your papers.  And, you need to evacuate.  So, you have your dog’s leash on him.  You have everything together, but your dog; you don’t want your dog running around like crazy.  And then, trying to tell your dog to sit, like five times before they finally do it because that, then you have the possibility of either ending up leaving your dog behind or being behind yourself, so...

Liz Palika:  Good.

Kayla:  So, and also you have the people who get frustrated with their dogs, and end up getting rid of them because they don’t listen to them, supposedly.  When they wait for like the fifth or sixth “Come Here”, so…

Liz Palika:  Good.  Sure.  And, then there’s the basic one that Deborah was talking about, the “Come”.   If you tell you dog to come six or eight or ten or twelve times. Or he figures out the only time he’s supposed to come is when you finally lose your temper, then by repeating commands, you’re teaching the dog to fail.  So, yes.  Very good point.

Maggie, you assist in the Puffy classes and the Basic classes.  What are some of the things you’ve seen lately?

Maggie:  Um.

Liz Palika:  Ooh, I love catching her off guard.

Maggie:  It’s tough and then…

Woman:  …when you lost it.  New Year’s resolution – remember.  OK.

Woman:  Well, I can give you one that you were talking about today was the right training collar.
Maggie:  Oh.

Woman:  People not wanting to put the right training collar on their dogs.

Maggie:  Right.  I think that a lot of people don’t realize how the training collars are supposed to be used.  And, people will go into the pet store and see the quote/unquote choke chain.  And go, they’ll either, ok, that’s a terrible collar because it will choke my dog.  And, they’ll never buy it.  Or, they’ll go, ok, I saw that on a dog.  That fixes the dog and we’ll get it.  And, they’ll put it on wrong and they’ll hurt their dog.  And, I think a lot of people don’t realize that if you get a training collar, you need to ask when, how to use it.

Liz Palika:  Excellent point.  Excellent point.  Or, ask what type of training collar your dog needs.

Maggie:  Yeah.  That, too.  Because certain dogs can’t handle different types of collars.

Liz Palika:  Or, don’t need a certain type.  So, they need something more gentler, or who knows?

Maggie:  And, like a lot of dogs won’t wear a haltee or a gentle leader type collar properly because they don’t like it. 

Liz Palika:  Or, they’ll go for power with a head halter.

Maggie:  Yeah.

Liz Palika:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Excellent point.  Very good.  What else?

Maggie:  Some other things, a lot of people I’ve noticed if you have to shape your dog like into a position, people even though we tell them not to, Push down on the hips when you tell your dog to sit.  It’s really annoying and it’s bad.

Liz Palika:  Yep.  In some people’s defense, I will say, for many, many, many years that was the recommended technique.  And, in fact, I think some dog books probably still teach that.  As with all professions, we learn and we change and we evolve.  And, we’ve learned now that pushing down on the dog’s hips can convey things we may not want the dog to know.  Or, can hurt him with his hips, and his hip dysphasia, and things like that.  Sure.  Yeah.

Woman:  Exercise.  I think probably one of the things we see the most in classes is their dogs are hyper, not.   They go crazy.  And, the dog doesn’t have enough exercise.  And, they get home because they’re busy.  And, people work long hours.  Of course, you’ve got to make a living to live here. 


So, they work long hours, but don’t spend enough time.  Or mainly, just do it on the weekends to exercise their dogs.  So, I’d love to see more people spend time and exercise physically and mentally, the dogs. 

Nicole:  Well, surely, that’s one of the things that I always take issue with is people who are rescuing dogs or who have dogs always assume because they have a big yard their dog’s going to have a good home.  But, dogs are pack animals.  They want to be with their humans.  And, even if they have other dogs they’re not going exercise themselves, as well as their human will.  So, they really, people need to make a commitment to exercise the human as well as the dog, you know, at the same time.

Woman:  Well, Kayla and I see that because, I mean, we’ve got two acres.  It’s all fenced.  But, when we’re out there, our dogs are plastered to our side.

Liz Palika:  Right.

Woman:  So, we have to encourage him.  Throw a ball to encourage him to go out and run around and exercise.  Otherwise, they’re like, they don’t see, they go, oh, two acres, let’s go run around. 


Woman:  No, they’re like, ooh, Mom and then Mom and then Little Mom.  We’ll stick to their side.


Liz Palika:  Go ahead.

Kayla:  There was another thing I had seen recently actually is those people getting large dogs just because they look cool, like Pit bulls.  And everything.  Not knowing what they’re getting into. If, say like a really like someone who’s like into the fighting breeds and are all like Determined to get one like that, that’s sort of what ruins the breed.  But, also if you get a Rottweiler that, you have to understand that sometimes they take a little more training.  Or, like an Aussie.  They’re like a little more complex than what you might think they are.  And, just because they look like a nice dog to have, doesn’t mean that you’re the right person to have that dog because you do need to think about that.

Liz Palika:  So, basically, you’re saying people need to do some research ahead of time as to what’s the right breed for them.  Boy, I love you.  I really do.

Woman:  She’s grown up so good, huh?


Liz Palika:  Which leads into, get a copy of my newest book…


Liz Palika:  …”The Whole Book of Dogs” by Wiley and Sons.  It’s on how to choose the right breed for you.  Thank you, Kayla.

Kayla:  Then, there’s one more thing about how I see so many high strung, hyper dogs during class.  And, sometimes, it has to do with the dog food that they’re on.  So, maybe you should ask someone about your dog food before you go out and see IAMS just because it’s on T.V. and it’s a designer brand.  You might want to like research a little bit on it.

Woman:  Yeah.  That they’re all made in the same factory, and have pretty much all the same food in them.  No matter how extensive the advertising might be.

Liz Palika:  Yes, Maggie.  You started to say something.

Maggie:  No.  When Kayla was saying about the bully breeds, even though you can’t put your puppy in a bubble, one thing you should pay attention to is when you have your dog out, look at the other dogs around you.  If you go to dog parks, bad people, I don’t like dog parks. 

If you’re out and there’s other dogs, pay attention to the dogs that are around you, especially if you have a small dog or a dog that, if you have a dog just because, certain things to look out for, like a dog that’s on an extended leash.  Or, a dog that’s lunging.  Or, it’s with someone who obviously isn’t controlling it because your dog could easily get hurt.  And, that’s not something you need to start out the year with. 

Liz Palika:  Sure.

Maggie:  It’s a huge vet bill.

Liz Palika:  Definitely.  Definitely.

So, I think a few New Year’s resolutions for dog owners is the nutrition.  If you have a dog that needs more nutrition, putting some weight on, or to take some weight off, or to feed them better food…

Woman:  Or, some owners.  Like I, that’s what I want to do.

Liz Palika:  Take it off, not put it on. 

Woman:  That is.

Liz Palika:  Exercising your dog.  Try to make a plan.  Few minutes a day.  Go out there and throw the ball.  Work on some behavior issues.  Resolve them.  If you have something that’s just driving you crazy, and if you had some time off during the holidays, and you notice this, maybe, jumping is a really bad habit he seems to do a lot of.

Well, contact a local trainer.  Start working on that.  Dog sports.  You and I, Liz and I are talking about it.  Get them involved in that. The more you do with your dog, the better because it keeps his mind busy.  It keeps his body busy.  It’s good for your relationship with your dog.

The more you do together, the more you’ll learn about your dog.  Deb and Deborah can attest to that with the herding.  Some things that you see when you watched your dog work geese for the first time, it’s like, whoa.  That’s my dog.  Look at that.


And, you may not have ever otherwise seen that side of your dog before.  So, the more you do with your dog, the better.  And, I’d say if you have a dog that’s, you know, out of control and needs some obedience.  There you go, New Year’s Resolution!  Go to a local trainer and check out some training facilities.  Go take an obedience class.  And all of a sudden, you’ll have a well-mannered pet, a great family member, a buddy, a companion that you can do so many things with…

Nicole:  And, a built-in support group.


Liz Palika:  Yes, because you can talk to everybody else in the class, and they go, yeah, I’ve been dealing with that, too.

Woman:  Yep.

Kate Abbott:  You know, one point I’d like to make on that, too, is don’t just take one training class and then think that you’re done. 

Woman:  Oh, true.

Kate Abbott:  I’ve made it through the Intermediate, whatever.  I find that you just need it all of the time.  I mean, it has, just re-take it because then they also get exposure to other dogs.  You, reinforces the training commands to you, too…

Woman:  Yep.

Woman:  Yep.

Kate Abbott:  …because it’s as much or more about training you than the dog.

Nicole:  I think the initial training is training yourself and the dog to love to learn. 

Kate Abbott:  Oh, sure.

Nicole:  And, that’s a lifetime goal for all of us.  I know it’s one of mine, all, not just this year, but every year.  And, I think the other responsibility that all of us have as having an animal, or a dog in our life, is that our dog become a diplomat for the world.  And, it’s really important that, that we continue that.

Liz Palika:  Alright.  Well, we could talk about; obviously, we could talk about dogs forever.  Thirty minutes just fly by.  But, I hope this has given you some things to think about both from our experience with our own dogs and what we see with our students’ dogs.  So, set some reasonable goals.  As with any New Year’s resolution, make sure it’s reasonable.  Set yourself up to succeed.  Set your dog up to succeed.

And, we’ll be back and talk with you again next week.  So, thanks again from “It’s A Doggy Dog World” on Pet Life Radio.  This is Liz Palika, Petra Burke, and the cast of characters from Kindred Spirits Pet Education Center. 

The Group:  Bye.

Woman:  See you next time.

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