Is your dog aggressive only to dogs entering its territory? Pt. 1

  • By Trina Eddy
  • 16 Apr, 2012
Canines are very territorial animals. They mark and guard their space diligently. Many dogs are pleasant and friendly when outside of their marked territory, but let another dog enter into its space and it will be meet with pronounced opposition.

A dog’s territory is probably be the same legal boundaries that are registered at the local courthouse. They may consider the neighbors yard their duty to guard, maybe even from the neighbors themselves. If they are allowed to mark during their routine walk they may expect that anything encompassing that area is theirs to be guarded. Attending a dog park often may give your dog the idea that the park now belongs to him/her. Your dog’s perceived territory may be a small as your car, house or back yard, or maybe just its crate or kennel.

Continued next week.
By Trina Eddy 23 Mar, 2017

Dogs are working animals. They need a job to do and will be much better behaved if they have something to make them feel like they are earning their rewards.

Every breed has its own skills. Make the best of the genetic drive that your dog is born with.

  • Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise.
  • Dogs should have a good run at least once a day to maintain good physical and mental health.  
  • A mile walk is good, but usually not nearly enough.
  • Destructive and bratty behavior often occurs because of pent up energy.
  • Many people believe that if their dog has a big back yard it will get enough exercise. This is not usually the case.
  • Your dog will tire faster with mental stimulation than with physical exercise.
  • All dogs can learn.

Start with some of these ideas today:

  • Search game- (See instructions below)
  • Scent work
  • Tricks
  • Retrieving
  • Check out our upcoming fun classes

Search Game

The search game is when someone hides and the dog find them. Teaching your dog to find you or family members is not only fun, but someday could be useful. Most dogs seem to love this game and it usually takes very little training.

To start, one person should hold the dog while another person hides in a fairly easy place. The dog should want to go with the person who is hiding and should watch the person hide. The dog should be allowed to pull on the leash and act exited. Once the person is hidden the dog should be allowed to search. If you are not in a safe fenced area, the dog should be attached to a long line with the holding person hanging on to it and quietly following. If you are in a safe area the dog can be let lose to run and search. Once the dog finds the person it should be fervently rewarded with treats and praise. Continue to make the hidden person harder to find and eventually don't allow the dog to see the person leave. Just before the dog is sent to search, the person holding the dog should give the "search" command. This game will also help in teaching the dog to come when called. If the dog doesn't come right away when called the person should just hide. This usually encourages the dog to search and find the person. Always make sure the dog comes all the way to the person hiding, not just run by and keep going. Most people are amazed at their dog's ability to play this game, but sometimes the dogs are going so fast they miss the scent they are searching for. Remain still and let the dog work, but if it starts to get discouraged and give up, give a little call to help the dog be successful. The dog should always end by finding someone.


You need at least two people, one to hold the dog and one to hide. You also need an area to practice. A good place to start this game is in the house. To play outside you need a large safe area without other distractions. You also need a strong buckle collar, strong comfortable leash and a long line is often useful. You may prefer to use a harness so the dog can relax and have the full freedom of its head.

By Trina Eddy 31 Jul, 2015
I'm looking forward to starting this years Dog Trainers and Care Takers Course in October.  It is always so much fun to get new students started in a career they are passionate about. I have 3 students returning to finish up a needed quarter to earn their certificate, one past student wanting to retake the course to sharpen and refresh her skills and one very excited new student.  There is room for a couple more students, so if dog training, boarding, doggie daycare, dog walking, in home pet care or rescue work are your passion, you should check out this course.

<a href=" Close" title="Link:">Close">">Close the Door</a>

<a href=" Agility" title="Link:">Agility">">Agility Fun</a>

We do a lot of hands on practice, real life evaluations and training sessions.   We've had vet assistants, groomers, doggie daycare supervisors, rescue volunteers and many others professionals who have benefited from this very practical and informative course.

We can work together getting your new business started.  There are many opportunities in the dog world to start a new full time business, add and improve services in an existing business or supplement your current income with a part time pet service.  I love helping people get their business developed to pursue what they love.  Love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.

I would be happy to meet you, sit down and talk about your goals and the course to see if it's a good fit for you. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Trina @ (360)668-0350
By Trina Eddy 31 Jul, 2015
Dog Trainers Course
Session 1
Class 1: 4/4/13 Introductions- Student Goals

Watch "White Wolf " Video- Note behaviors in Wolves you see in domestic dogs

Discussion on video and observed behaviors
Homework: Read pages 1-76 (chapters 1-4) of "Leader of the Pack" book.
Reminder: Bring personal dogs next class

Class 2: 4/6/13 Leadership Questionnaire Handout

  Discussion: Leaders Job
      Leader Traits/ Steps
      Apply leadership to training
  11:00 Audit "Go Home Visit" with Charli

  12:00-1:00pm Lunch

  1:00 Eval with aggressive poodle

  Homework: Practice leash work with personal dog(s) and complete "Leader of the Pack"   book. Take notes on training progress.
  Reminder: Bring 1 or 2 dogs to next class.

Class 3: 4/18/13 Motivators: Voice/Praise, Body Language, Treats/Food, Toys, Attention
      Tone: High/Low, Three Day Cleanse (Aggression, lack of drive)
      "Three Day Cleanse" handout
      "No Free Lunch" Handouts
      "How Dogs Learn" Handout

  Homework: Practice with 2-3 dogs.
      Short write ups on training experience - Overview, Challenges, How you         Resolved, What you Learned- Due Class 4
  Reminder: Bring 1 or 2 dogs to next class.

Class 4: 4/27/13 Training Equipment: Training Collars, Harnesses, Halti, Leashes, Long Lines,         Whistle, Clickers
      How to fit equipment
      How to use equipment
      Common uses of equipment

  Practicing leash work- Basic Commands: Wait, Sit, Down, Stand, No Pull
    Practice with different equipment
    Own dogs/Trained dogs
Session 2:     Bring Project Dogs to all Classes

Class 1: 6/4/13 Watch Ian Dunbar "Puppy" video
  Critical Periods - Puppy Time Line Hand Out

  Practicing leash work- Basic Commands: Wait, Sit, Down, Stand, No Pull
    Practice with different equipment
    Own dogs/Trained dogs

Homework: Find 2 or more dogs to work with and bring to each class.

Class 2: 6/8/13
  9-12 Dog to Dog Interactions - "Dog Interaction" Video
      "Leader of the Pack" video (Shilo & Mikey, Corgi's with the chicken bone)

    (Nancy) Aggression Issues - "When Friendly Dogs Bite" book
      "Types of Aggression" Handout

  12-1 Lunch

  1-2   Go Home Visit with Wahoo

  2-3 Demonstrate Teaching Commands

  3-4 Bring in project dogs- Practice Basic Obedience: Wait, Sit, Down Stand, No         Pull, Stay, Coming, Heeling, Finish, Leave It, Whistle Training
    Go to Bed/ Wait on Bed

Class 3: 6/13/13 Watch "Shaping Video"
  Shaping Behavior - Clicker Game

  Practice Clicker Training with dogs

Class 4: 6/20/13   Watch "Take a Bowwow" Video (30 MIN)
  Start Tricks: Demo/ Practice (catch, rollover, bang, sit pretty, leg weave, jumping arms & legs,   nose flip, spin, around, heel, back, leap frog)

  Scent Work: Demo/Practice
    "Teaching Your Dog to Find" Handout

  Practice Tricks and Scent Work with dogs

Class 5: 6/25/13
  House Training/Crate Training

  Therapy Work/ Delta Society

  Canine Good Citizen - CGC Handout of 10 tests
    ` -Getting certified to become an evaluator

  Practice CGC with dogs
Class 6: 6/27/13 Medical Issues (Thyroid, Vaccinations, Flea Medications etc.)

      Food and Nutrition: " Food Score Sheet" Handout
          "Wait" for food

      Puppy Mills- Choosing a Breeder

      Aggression video (If Time)

  Practice all obedience with dogs

  Turn in Write Ups
  Discuss Training Experiences/ Questions & Challenges

Session 3:
  Introducing new dogs to each other:
      Evaluate body language
      How to introduce properly
      Leash Aggression
  Breed Traits - "Choosing a Dog"
  Search Work
  AKC Competitive Sports-
  Rally Obedience
  AKC - CD (Companion Dog): Demo/ Practice
  Watch "Agility" video
  Practice Beginning Agility
  Business: Career Options- Training, Day Care, Boarding, Pet Sitting, Dog Walking etc.

  Starting Your Business: Licensing, Permits, Insurance, Business Plans, Taking Payments,           Banking, Marketing etc. Handout

  Puppy Temperament Testing- "Temperament Testing Score Sheet" Handout

  Evaluations- Gathering Information, Problem Solving

  Teaching Obedience Classes

  Talking to Customers
By Trina Eddy 26 Jun, 2015
Have you ever thought about a career in dog training? Or taken your dog to to a trainer?

Do you posses the necessary traits to become a good trainer? Or know what to look for in a trainer when getting your dog trained? Here are some things to think about when considering a dog related career or when looking to obtain help with your dog.

Dog trainers must be able to notice small details. Dogs sometimes tell us more than their owners. It is up to you to notice the subtle hints the dog may be displaying. Often the owner is telling me one thing and the dog is telling me something quite different. For example: the owner maybe telling me that they always hold the leash loosely and at the same time the dog is coughing and straining because the leash is being held so tightly. Usually, the owners aren’t even aware that they are pulling on the leash.

You need to be able to come up with a solution to a problem that you have not seen before. In A Canine Experience's Dog Trainers and Caretakers Course, we teach many options for handling a variety of problems, but you may need to adjust the solution to fit a specific situation. For example: an owner physically may not be able to work a dog in the traditional manner. You need to be creative enough to come up with an alternative method for them.

Although you need to be sympathetic, being overly emotional will interfere with good judgment. Your clients are counting on you for professional help. For example: if the owners are deciding whether or not to re-home a dog due to aggression, you must be practical and think of all their options and be clear about their liabilities.

By flexible, I mean that you should be willing to change your goals and methods as the situations indicate. For example, if you start out with the goal of teaching your dog to “sit stay”, then you find the dog doesn’t truly understand what “sit” means, you must change your goal and teach the dog the “sit” command instead of the “stay” command. Don’t feel this is a defeat because you didn’t accomplish what you set out to, it’s just good training.

You must be fair with all dogs. Do exactly what each dog needs. Some dogs are cute and sweet, while others can be rather obnoxious with a face that only the owner could love. As a trainer, it shouldn’t matter each dog deserves fair treatment. You must always fairly give the dog all the reward it has earned.

Gentle and Tough
Some require soft treatment and others need you to be tough. Be prepared for both. Some trainers attempt to train all dogs the same way which does not work. If you have a very shy Sheltie you will need to handle it more gently than a hyper outgoing Lab.

Good Communication Skills
Instructing the dogs’ owner is a major part of dog training. You can be an excellent dog trainer, but if you can’t communicate with the dogs’ owner, the training may not be helpful.

Nothing can replace hands on experience. Don’t be a lazy trainer. Practice every chance you get. Many people tend to take the easy way by avoiding a problem situation rather than taking the opportunity to have a training session with the dog. For example, if a dog wants to pick up some garbage off the ground, the common tendency is to pull the dog away from the item and go on your way. A good trainer will say “lets have a training session and teach the dog to take the responsibly and leave the garbage alone”.

Experienced trainers will also know not to get in over their heads. They will know when a situation is not safe and will not set themselves up to get bit. A seriously aggressive dog often needs two experienced trainers. No one should ever attempt to train a dog they are afraid of.

You must study dog behavior and learn the different breeds distinctive traits. Clients may lose confidence in you as a trainer if you have no knowledge of their breed.

A segment from A Canine Experience's Dog Trainers and Caretakers Workbook, written by Nancy Baer and Trina Eddy, owners of A Canine Experience Inc.
By Trina Eddy 20 Apr, 2015
Teach your children these following important rules:

Child Safety Rules
Follow these simple rules to keep children safe around dogs:

Children should not be left unsupervised around dogs.
If dog appears uncomfortable or nervous, stay away.
Never hug a dog that is not your own family dog.
Never scream or run away from a dog.
If a dog barks at you, stop and stay still.
Do not kick or hit a dog.
Stay away from a dog that is eating or chewing on a bone.
Always ask before petting a strange dog.
Leave sleeping dogs alone.
If you reach to pet a dog and it backs away, DO NOT PET IT!

Children and leadership

  It can be difficult to convince a dog that a child has authority over it. With many dogs, it is hard enough to get them to accept an adult as their leader. Adults must step in and help the children gain the respect of the dog. It is really not safe for dogs to be dominant over children. The dogs will feel the need to discipline the children which will likely result in a bite. The dog may be over protective of the children and bite a neighbor child.

  Children are physically smaller and have high pitched voices that can sound like a stress whine to a dog. Children react in strange confusing ways, often are on the floor lower than the dog and have short attention spans.

  Children can not convince a dog that they are the leader on their own. They have a hard time gaining control of the dog. It is good for children to help in the feeding and care of the dog and participate in training sessions so dogs learns to obey them. Children need to understand all the rules as well as the dog.

● leave children unsupervised around dogs.
● let your dog sleep in children's beds.
● let strangers hug your dog.
● let children play tug of war with your dog.
● let your dog chase children.
● let your children chase dogs.
● let your dog jump on children.
● let your dog go out a door before your children.
● let your dog put his mouth on children.

By Trina Eddy 22 Aug, 2013
Three reasons to teach your dog to wait at the door:
It's an issue of respect. Pushing by you and charging out the door is disrespectful to you as the leader. When charging out the door, they are reacting, not thinking. Making them wait will help you gain control and engage their brain. There is also the issue of safety. Many dogs have been hit by cars after bolting out the door into a road. It is your job as the leader to protect your dog.

How to teach the wait at the door:

1. Clip Bobo's 6-foot lead onto his regular collar. Bring him to the closed front door and have him sit for you in a position that will not block the opening of the door. If he sits, give him a treat and praise him. Then tell him to wait.

2. Next, open the front door a few inches while praising Bobo for a 'good wait'. If he tries to squeeze through, tell him no and close the door and walk him away. Then bring him back to the door and repeat the process. Your goal at this point is to be able to open the door a few inches without Bobo trying to squeeze through. Be patient; you may have to repeat this step five or six times before he gets it.

3. Once you can open the door a few inches without Bobo charging through, you can begin opening it more or more each time. Every moment that Bobo does not try to get out the door is a victory for you. Just make sure to praise him for a good wait while he is doing so. Your goal is to be able to have the front door completely open without Bobo trying to sneak out. If he tries to, tell him no, then quickly close the door, walk him away, and begin the process again. Get him to understand that every time he tries to go out on his own he gets the door shut; each time he waits, he gets praised.

4. Once you are able to get Bobo to wait at a wide-open door, it is time to step through yourself. If at any time he tries to go along with you, tell him "no,wait". Have him continue to wait for 10 seconds. If Bobo succeeds in charging by you, say "no", then take him back inside and repeat the step. Once you have successfully taught him to wait while you are outside, tell Bobo 'okay' and call him through the door. Once outside, have him sit, and reward him with a treat. Then, have him perform the wait , going back into the home. If at any time he tries to bolt in, tell him "no", shut the door, and walk him away. Your goal is to get Bobo to wait at the door, going in or out, until you give the "okay" command. Practice this each time you take Bobo out.

5. Work the wait command at every entrance and exit to the home or car. After 6 to 8 weeks, you will find that the leash may no longer be necessary. The wait will eventually become automatic to Bobo. You needn't practice only at doorways, try teaching Bobo to wait at a curbside.
(The above steps 1-5 are quoted from the "Leader of the Pack" book written by Nancy Baer and Steve Duno)
By Trina Eddy 14 Aug, 2013
Many behavior problem stem from the lack of physical and mental exercise!

Dogs are working animals. They need a job to do and will be much better behaved if they have something to make them feel like they are earning their keep.

Every breed has its own skills. Make the best of the genetic drive that your dog is born with.

  • Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise.
  • Dogs should have a good run as least once a day to maintain good physical and mental health.
  • A mile walk is good, but usually not nearly enough.
  • Destructive and bratty behavior often occurs because of pent up energy.
  • Many people believe that if their dog has a big back yard it will get enough exercise. This is not usually the case.
  • Your dog will tire faster with mental stimulation than with physical exercise.
  • All dogs can learn.

Start with some of these ideas today:

  • Obedience commands
  • Search games
  • Scent work
  • Tricks
  • Herding
  • Weight pulling
  • Use a backpack to carry things
  • Agility
  • Flyball
  • Retrieving
By Trina Eddy 11 Apr, 2013
Dogs learn the same as any other animal, including us humans. What they are capable of learning is quite different. They don’t understand abstract concepts. They learn through experiences not explanations. Dog will do whatever gets them what they want or need. This is referred to as motivation.

Tail wag: If a positive motivation has occurred their tails have a very clear way of letting us know they are happy (by wagging their tail). A tail tucked between the legs is a sign of worry and stress. Their tails are usually a clear sign of how they are feeling.


Things that are needed to survive
Things that physically feel good

Dogs can vary on what motivates them. You must find what motivates your dog the most.

Treats – Don’t use your dog’s regular dog food for a treat to work for. Experiment until you find what really excited him/her.

Toys – Not just finding a toy that your dog likes, but study how your dog likes to play with it. Some dogs love retrieving, some love a little tugging, some just love the chasing.

Petting – Most dog like some type of physical contact as part of their reward, but most prefer an additional motivation. A few really just want some good hugging and petting.

Happy verbal praise – All dogs should always get truly honest happy praise with every job completed.

Things that hurt
Things that are scary
Things that go against normal pack behavior – isolation – unclear messages

They mimic the way their owner/handler is feeling. If the owner is truly their leader, they will learn from what the leader is communicating.

If the leader is afraid, excited, happy, or stressed the dog will notice and may assume the same action.
If you are working with a dog and not enjoying it chances are your dog will not be enjoying it either.
If you are afraid, your dog will likely be afraid also.
If you’re afraid of the dog the dog will sense the fear and in dog logic be afraid of you. When a dog is afraid, it will feel the need to protect itself therefore; growling, baring teeth or biting may occur.

Dogs learn from their leaders for their survival.

If the dog is the leader: If the dog is the leader, it is the trainer, protector, example, and disciplinarian. In order to be a good leader, it must think clearly, be confident, controlling, commanding, and fair. Owners put many dogs that are unprepared, insecure, or overly reactive into the leadership role unknowingly. This will in turn create a serious and potentially dangerous problem.

Owners unintentionally place their dogs in the leadership roll with improper play, by where they are allowed to sleep, by how they are fed, and who takes control of the possessions.
By Trina Eddy 11 Apr, 2013
I am excited to say we recently began the 2013 Dog Trainer and Care Takers Course.  I have been anxious to get this class started, as I knew I had a wonderful group of students beginning.  Each of the four students (the perfect size class) have similar goals and experience with training, yet different specializations.  I am looking forward to helping these four enthusiastic ladies reach their goals and establishing new careers.

In our first eight classroom hours, we studied pack behavior in depth by evaluating their social structure and behavior.  It is very apparent dogs rely heavily on a pack leader to guide and protect them.  We discussed the role and traits of a true leader.  We were then able to observe how leadership applies to training by auditing a "Go Home Visit" with a dog who was just finishing up a a two week board and train program and an "Evaluation" on a pair of dogs.  One was exhibiting some dog aggression and both needed obedience training and leadership.  The sessions were very informative and solidified the importance of the leaders role, how it applies to obedience training and having a better working relationship with your dog.
By Trina Eddy 07 May, 2012
A Canine Experience Inc. is a family owned and operated business. We all share in the daily duties and each of us have an area we are additionally responsible for. I am in charge of Marketing, which I really enjoy in this industry because it's naturally easy.   There are no hard sells, if you have an dog and need help I'm happy to guide you. I also teach all the group obedience classes as well as a Dog Trainer and Care Takers Course for people who want to get into any dog related business or rescue work. This is a hands on course that I love teaching.

Each one of us also has pet related hobbies and interests and of course, our own personal pets. My pet family currently consists of Bridgette, my American Cocker Spaniel, who is my teaching assistant for group classes. We also enjoy performing demonstrations/work shops at festivals on search games. She has been taught to find my cell phone as well as 20 different types of mold. Scent work is my favorite type of training although I also enjoy Agility.

My husbands dog, Jonni 5, is Bridgette's daughter. She is Cocker, Rotti, Shepard, Sheltie mix who looks like a small Rotti.   My son, Alex who also works for ACE, dog is a Border Collie who was rescued out of a back yard from a divorce case. Poor thing was left in the yard with flies eating his ears. He's much better now, Alex used him as a 4-H dog for several years. My daughter, Autumn, also works at ACE. She has two dogs, a Corgi name Kyla and little mix named Cowboy. Autumn fostered Cowboy who has serious behavior issues due to insecurity, she fell in love with him and adopted him.

I have another personal dog, Maleha, a Great Pyrenees, who lives with my goats and poultry to protect them from the coyotes and bobcat who roam the neighborhood. She is a happy, loving 80lb 7 month puppy who bounces around like a child. Amazing how she can get that big body to move about. So far so good on the plan, my pens are set up so she can patrol around them and I haven't had any loss due to wild animals since she came aboard my team.

I have two cats, Romy and Mony, who are wonderful mousers, molers etc. Romy is a black DSH and Mony is a grey DSH.

I have a a pair of Heritage turkeys, Ricky and Lucy (named as such because they are a comical pair). Lucy is currently setting on a nest of 20 or so eggs. I'm very happy about that and this time she is setting in a safe place. She likes to escape to the woods to lay and set which is very dangerous for her. I gathered her eggs, placed them in a nest in the safe zone and was ecstatic when she began laying in the nest. She started setting about a week ago, so 3 weeks we should have some baby turkeys. When I get home today, I'm going to place some chicken eggs in her nest and see if she will hatch them too. Watching the turkeys is very entertaining and has helped me understand the true definition of "taking a flying leap".

I have two Rhode Island Red chicks and seven Cornish Crosses. The reds are great egg producers. I'm hoping a couple of the Cornish have some instinct left so hatch some chick eggs too. Three Khaki Cambell and two Cayuga ducks live in my garden area to keep it slug free. So far this is working very well, except if the ducks can reach a plant over the edge, they will eat them. So far I have discovered they like chives, parsley and sunflowers. I'm hoping they don't get skilled enough to get in my raised garden beds or I may have to net them off. I'm trying to create a permaculture, but it is very challenging to find that balance. I'm still learning.

We also own three Pygmy/Cashmere cross goats. We originally got them as companions for another goats and to eat the underbrush. Their true skill is escaping and eating everything you don't want eaten. They can anialate a garden in minutes, unfortunately I know from experience. They are great companions to my Pyrenees, very friendly and fun to watch. I'm more entertained by watching my pets interact than watching a TV show.
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