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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Dog Parks

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Dog Parks

My favorite dog park here in Wilmington, Delaware, where I live is Talley Day Bark Park off Foulk Road. For most people in North Wilmington, this seems to be the hot spot, especially on the weekends. But as a dog trainer, I may view dog parks a little differently than the average park visitor. And I don’t think I’m alone. When researching this post on dog parks, I found countless opinion pieces from other trainers on this very topic. So, suffice it to say, I’m going to add in my opinion to the mix. (more…)

Puppy Socialization: What It Is & Why It’s So Important

Puppy Socialization: What It Is & Why It’s So Important

Of all the things you can do for your new puppy, socialization is probably the most important. Introducing your puppy to different sights, sounds, people, animals, and places in a positive way can help your dog form positive associations that will last a lifetime. And timing is crucial. The younger the puppy is, the better. Up until she is about 4 months old, there’s a window of opportunity in which your pup is more accepting of what she comes across. This is called the critical socialization window. After that, it can be more difficult to introduce her to new things. (more…)

How Your Emotions And Reactions Impact Your Dog’s Behavior

How Your Emotions And Reactions Impact Your Dog’s Behavior

A few years before I became a certified dog trainer, I was trying to deal with my pitbull’s leash reactivity on my own. If your otherwise sweet, friendly, dog barks, lunges, and snarls at other dogs, people, or objects while on leash, there’s a good chance that she has leash reactivity. This is different than aggression in that reactivity is your dog’s way of telling you that she’s uncomfortable on the leash while encountering all the triggers of people, or dogs, or strollers, etc. (more…)