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    Jun
    13

    The day I met Audio

    I had just finished up a walk, dropped my clients off and was heading home on foot.  I noticed a German Shepherd (GSD) walking with his owner, I asked if I could introduce myself.  The dog was so friendly and affectionate toward me so I asked why this handsome boy had a muzzle on.  The owner mentioned that he is aggressive towards other dogs.  Naturally, my first question was "Do you have a trainer and are you using positive methods?"   The response was yes.  Whew!

     

    While speaking with the owner I noticed a woman coming up the path with her dog.  I immediately informed her that we were working with this dog and that it is aggressive towards other dogs.  The woman shortened her leash and proceeded to walk by.  I was surprised to see that Audio was NOT acting aggressively at all.

     

    Audio is reactive, not aggressive.  He is over stimulated by other dogs and therefore overreacts.  He doesn't know how to calm himself and respond in appropriate ways.  Long after the woman and her dog were out of site, Audio was still over stimulated, the owner was trying to continue the walk.  I intervened at this moment and suggested that the owner pull Audio off the path and have him sit.  I told the owner what I saw and that Audio is not aggressive, he is still a threat but it is not aggression.

     

    Aggression is purposeful and angry. What I saw was an overreaction that has gone without the aid of proper training and has become out of control. I had owner and Audio remain in a sit until Audio's breathing slowed down and he was able to focus on his owner again.  If Audio had not been allowed to calm himself before proceeding, he would have maintained that level of heightened stimulation for the rest of their walk.  It could have been a dangerous situation for the owner, Audio, and anyone or anything they could have encountered going forward.

     

    It is so important when training to use positive reinforcements, but also to take the time to deal with every situation completely before moving on. 

     

    Jun
    20

    Blueberry Maple Pupsicles

    Blueberry Maple Pupsicles

     

    • 2 cups plain yogurt
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or chopped peaches or plums.
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup

     

    1. Stir together yogurt, berries and maple syrup.
    2. Pour into icecube trays almost to the top. The mixture will swell as it freezes.
    3. Freeze and enjoy.

    Great for those warm days, for you and your pooch.

    Dec
    7

    Pawsitive Behavior Comes From Pawsitive Reinforcements

    If you are looking for Pawsitive behavior from your dog, the ONLY way to get it is through Pawsitive reinforcements. If you use methods that instill fear such as pennies in a can, shock or spray collars, the "Alpha Roll Over" or any other method or device that will promote a fear based submission, you will never earn the respect of your dog. 

    The only things you need for your dog to have Pawsitive behaviors is a flat collar, a leash, proper knowledge of dogs and some honest effort.  It is really that simple.

    It baffles me that so many people have such archaic views on how to train a dog. Do you realize that using these types of fear based methods are very similar to how Hitler treated people? Do it or suffer the consequenses! Seriously? Is this really how you want your best friend to view you? I doubt it.

    Treat your dog with some respect. Earn their respect.. Be your dog's best friend too. Don't they deserve it? They are there for you, EVERY time, without question. So why not show them the courtesy of education? Learn about humane ways to train. Find pawsitive and humane trainers that can help educate you about your dog. That's what we are here for.  Read a book or two that promotes pawsitive training. Here are a few that you can find through chapters/indigo online.

    Canine Body Language  by: Brenda Aloff

    On Talking Terms With Dogs - Calming Signals  by: Turid Rugaas

    Chill Out Fido! - How To Calm Your Dog  by: Nan Arthur

    Please feel free to contact me anytime. I am here to help educate you about dogs in a Pawsitive way.

    Nov
    29

    He Just Wanted To Say "Hi"

    This is a fabulous article and puts things into perspective. It will get you thinking about how a dog behaves and how most peoples perception of a dog's behavior is backwards, if not completely wrong. The analogy in this article is absolutely perfect. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Happy reading.

    http://www.flyingdogpress.com/content/view/42/97/

    Nov
    24

    An Article in SNAP magazine by Ayella of BauHound Haus

    The Milton Fairgrounds is not a designated off-leash area. It offers a safe place to stroll with your dog on-leash away from traffic. It is fenced in providing some security and the track makes walking comfortable. However, many residents also use the area to let their dogs run off-leash. In areas that are not off-leash, dog owner’s walking dogs on-leash have the “right of way” and there is some dog-walking etiquette that all owners walking dogs off-leash should know. One of our customers recently came in and told us her Golden Retriever puppy was attacked in the Fairgrounds. The puppy was on leash and the aggressing dog was off-leash. The same situation comes up in lots of cities in parks, fairgrounds and conservation trails.

    People walking their dogs on leash have every right to enjoy a safe walk in a park, trail or fairgrounds. Many dogs would feel threatened walking on-leash with a group of off-leash dogs running at them. It is a very unsafe situation. In areas that are not designated off-leash, the owners who have their dogs on leash should have the “right-of-way” so to speak. People who are choosing to break the rules, should follow doggie-etiquette rules that keep everyone safe.

    - Dogs running off-leash, in any area that is not fully fenced, should have a bomb-proof recall for their safety.
    - If your dog is off-leash and you (and your dog) see an on-leash dog, you should be able to call your dog to you.
    - Your off-leash dogs should never approach, or rush towards, a dog who is on-leash. It is not fair to assume that every dog will be fine with a strange dog approaching them.
    - When arriving, if you see dogs walking on-leash, do not release your dog. Wait until the on-leash dog is out of sight.
    - Do not allow your dog to approach a person in an area where they are not supposed to be off-leash. The person may be afraid or react in a way that provokes your dog.

    All dogs, even if they are shy, fearful or leash-aggressive, have every right to enjoy a walk. Their owner is being responsible by managing their dog on a leash. A dog owner who wishes to allow their dog to run off-leash, should be responsible too. By following these simple etiquette rules, hundreds of incidents could be avoided.

    Nov
    7

    Dog Walking In Milton Ontario

    Pawsitive Steps K9 Services offers professional dog walking for the town of Milton.

     

    All dogs have 7 basic needs that must be met for a balanced life. These needs are:

    1. Exercise

    2. Mental Stimulation

    3. Understanding Heirarchy

    4. Discipline

    5. Companionship

    6. Nutrition

    7. Love

     

    At Pawsitive Steps we have 3 different types of walks that meet 6 of the 7 needs of your dog. His/her Nutrition is up to you.

    We have:

    1. Pawsitive Play

    This walk is designed to promote desirable behavior. We encourage each member to walk nicely on the leash, sit while greeting people, practice recall while off leash and to take treats with a gentle mouth. Everyday we take this walk somewhere different, which stimulates your dog's mind with new sights, sounds and smells. We explore Milton's off leash park, in town trails, in town parks, Halton Conservation Areas and good old fashioned sidewalk work.  Exposing your dog to a variety of situations helps build his/her confidence and s/he learns proper mannors in any situation presented to them.

     

    2. The Healthy Senior

    This walk is aimed at older, slower moving dogs. It is designed to get them moving and promotes a healthy heart, lungs, bones and joints. Your senior dog will have a new zest for life when s/he makes new friends to socialize with.

     

    3. Big Fun, For Little Ones

    This walked is specifically designed for small breed dogs. Sometimes our small dogs can be intimidated by BIG dog play. It can be too rough, all legs and just not fun for some of our little ones.  This walk has been created so that your littlest best friend can meet and make new friends confidently while still having Big Fun with other Little Ones.

     

    You will notice a Pawsitive change in you dog's behavior within the first full week of walking with Pawsitive Steps. Contact us today and set up your FREE Meet and Greet. You and your dog will be happy that you did.

     

    While you're away... Let your dog PLAY!

     

     

     

    Nov
    4

    Ginger Pumpkin Biscotti

    Ginger Pumpkin Biscotti

    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup all-purpose, oat or rye flour
    • ½ tsp cinnamon
    • ½ baking powder
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • ¼ cup honey or molasses
    • ¼ water
    • 2 tbsp canola or olive oil
    • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla

     

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F
    2. In a large bowl, combine flours, cinnamon and baking powder. In a small bowl, stir together pumkin, honey, water, oil, ginger, egg and vanilla.  Add to the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
    3. Shape dough into a flat log about 6 inches wide and 13 inches long, or shape into two small logs if you have a small dog and want smaller biscotti. If you like, brush top of log(s) with a little beaten egg, or milk, to give it a shiny finish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until firm.
    4. Remove log from oven and let cool enough to handle.
    5. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F.
    6. Cut log on a slight diagonal into half-inch thick slices using a sharp serrated knife. Place the biscotti upright on baking sheet about  a half inch apart. Bake for an hour. Turn oven off and leave them to completely cool in the oven.

    Makes about 18 biscotti. Store in a tightly covered container for up to a week, or freeze for up to six months.

    Oct
    19

    Check out this article!

    Hi Everyone,

     

    I picked up an issue of Modern Dog Magazine and came across a fabulous article called "Your Dog is Watching You". It touches on something that I have been aware of for many years. I conduct all of my walks and training sessions with this awareness in mind. I hope that you enjoy the read.

     

    http://www.moderndogmagazine.com/articles/your-dog-watching-you/22498 

    Sep
    20

    Respectful Training

    We at Pawsitive Steps believe that each dog is an individual, as are you the owner. We look at your dog’s unique personality and find or create ways for you to work with him/her. We help you to teach your dog appropriate behaviours while in your home or in public.  We use respectful methods in our training process.  We believe that forcing a dog to do something that it is not ready for, only encourages negative behaviours.  Would you enjoy being in a relationship where the other person or people were trying to get you to do something by forcing it upon you?  No, that would be disrespectful.   Some trainers believe that force is necessary.  We disagree. 

    Think of yourself as the CEO of a company. How do you want to conduct your office? Would you get your workers to accomplish things for you by threatening them? By holding them at gun point? Of course not! Your workers would not respect you and would wait for the first opportunity to get out of there.  We believe the first goal in training is to be respectful.

    You could also look at your dog as though they were like a family member, such as a child or teenager. This helps to easily remember to be loving yet firm while giving them proper guidance on how they should behave. This may also help you in deciding the appropriate action to take when it is necessary.  We want our four-legged friends to be a welcomed part of our world. Not a nuisance. 

    We at Pawsitive Steps can show you how to gently guide your dog to become a well behaved and respectful member of society.  We will show you how to set your boundaries and make them clear and concise.  We will teach you how to communicate these boundaries in a way that your dog can understand.  We will teach you how to be firm without being angry.  We can give you Pawsitive Steps to follow so that you and your dog have the best possible life together.  

    Jul
    27

    Leash Free Dog Park

    If you use Milton's leash free dog park, it is important for you to become a member.  The membership fee is only $10 per year.  This fee pays for lawn mowers, gasoline, garbage bags, snow removal, and other general maintenance.  This park is run by voluteers, so all fees collected go back into the park.

    For more information on how to become a member go to www.leashfreemilton.com

    Without member fees, there would be NO park.  Thanks for supporting our park!