This is our dog, Elsa. She is a goofball. She’s sweet and adorable which bodes well for her life expectancy because she is also sometimes naughty. She’s a 1 1/2 year old American Bulldog puppy. She loves to chew things that she shouldn’t, like chapstick and headache spray and wart gel! We recently adopted her from another family and she has been a challenge to say the least. From the car ride home when we first adopted her, we knew already that she was going to be a handful. Luckily we had some knowledge about dog ownership of a strong breed from our beloved and dearly missed Pit Bull, Jax. Here is a picture of him:
With our prior knowledge and some refresher courses from our favorite dog rehabilitator and people trainer, Cesar Millan, we have begun the journey to having a well behaved dog. The first thing I did was visit the library website to check out an old favorite show called The Dog Whisperer and a series we had never watched before called Leader of the Pack. These are also available on Amazon.
Currently on the CW we watch The Family Edition of Dog Whisperer. On Nat Geo Wild we watch both Cesar 911 and my new favorite, Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation where Cesar and his son, Andre (Now grown! My how the time has flown), travel the United States helping to train people with challenging dogs.They also help with organizations that are helping dogs and organizations that are using dogs to help people.
I’ve learned so much from Cesar such as:
- The importance of exercise and discipline before affection. You only give affection when your dog is displaying good behavior. You never want to give affection when a dog is nervous or scared or misbehaving.
- The walk is the most important thing in a relationship between a dog and his/her human.
- Giving your dog rules boundaries and limitations is not being “mean” it will help your dog thrive. When they know what is expected of them, they can relax and be a happy dog. They don’t have to be the pack leader, which most dogs are not meant to be. Some really don’t handle it well.
- Dogs are not children. You can love them like children and be very affectionate with them, but not treating them like a dog can be very confusing and unhealthy.
- You can’t judge a dog solely on his/her breed.
- How to use a leash properly to keep their heads up like they do in dog shows. It helps them keep focused and lets you walk without tension while still being in control. (I know this and am working on this very thing with Elsa. I’m not very good at it yet, which is my own fault. Jeff does the majority of the walking with her.)
- I want my family to be pack leaders so that I will have a well behaved and balanced dog!
- If a dog is not well behaved, then ultimately it is our fault. We are doing something wrong and even though It may be hard, we have to step up and take the lead.
If you have a dog and you want to be a pack leader, I hope you check out some of Cesar’s stuff. I’ve shed many a tear watching these amazing stories. He’s my hero and I hope to meet him someday.
See you on Monday, when I will share another favorite TED Talk about being happy! Until then, be a pack leader, your dog will thank you for it!
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All the best,
Question of the day. Do you follow any dog trainers? Who are they?