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Amber 2017!

Hey Guys, sorry about the lack of updates. Time really flies, it felt like it was just a couple of months ago that I had just shared about Amber.

Amber will be 6 years old this year, which also mean that we have officially been training dogs for more than 5 years now! For those that are new here - We blogged about Amber when she was younger and shared how she was trained, owners that needed help stumbled onto our guides and requested for demonstration in person, and that was how we became trainers :)

Amber at this point of time is reaching middle age, her personality is more or less fixed and like all dogs, she has her good and bad points. I will start with the good points first, Amber is an extrovert in nature who loves exploring and meeting people, we brought her out a lot when she was younger - daily walks plus 1-2 outings per week. She loves humans especially and would not hesitate the shower them with kisses at first meet. Amber loves to share, of course not her favorite food an…

Sleeping with your dog

Do you allow your dog sleep in your room or your bed?
Is this a good thing?
What are the benefits and disadvantages?

In this post I am going to share my experience and views in this area based on over 15 years experience in handling and studying animals. I will try my best to list out the pros and cons, also what you can do to make better decisions for your dog when it comes to sleeping at night. 
First of all, we need to understand that dogs are social animals, meaning they do well and survive better in packs. So naturally, when you bring home a dog and spend some time with it, your dog should regard itself as part of your pack, or vice versa where you become part of its pack (lol). Now when it comes to sleeping, a pack of dogs will usually sleep together either in a den or comfortable space/territory, doing so can keep each other warm at night, develop better bond and it also serve as better protection.
With this information should we assume that dogs should sleep with us too? 
Answer is …

Kohepets

It's been awhile since we decided to change Amber's food, this time from Stella Chewy to Honest Kitchen. Although Amber did really well on Stella Chewy, it did not last long and after about 4 months, her poo started to became soft again, more especially when treats (including Stella chewy treats) were given. 
She is reaching middle age at 6 years old and not as active as before, I mean she is really active for her character but it's obvious that she is not as energetic as before. She doesn't play catch as much and even if she does it would not last long now. Could be that her current energy has contributed to her lack of tolerance on raw and high meat content food. So after doing some research, we decided to give Amber Honest Kitchen to try out. Honest kitchen is under the dehydrated food range, their food is dehydrated first, then grounded for easy consumption. FYI the series we chose - Honest kitchen embark had about 40% meat.
So I did a search online to find a store s…

Ship Jumpers

Recently a client sent me a few photos of a training school, he claimed that this was the trainer he had engaged previously and did not have good experience with him. I listened and thought that it would be good to share the story (he approved my request to share).

So this trainer used negative reinforcement, he suggested flicking the dog's nose if it barked, and clamp the muzzle if barking continues. He also suggested to kick the dog if it doesn't walk, to have owner's head held high and drag the dog on the floor till it walks, he also encouraged his small dog to be on slip leash, which was compulsory to purchase. The worst part in his opinion was the lack of privacy, in which the trainer had a photographer and kept taking their photos throughout the program. For those that do not know, slip leash is a type of leash that tightens when the dog pull and create choke effect similarly to choke chains, difference is that the material is made of nylon. I am not going to go into …

Thank you!

Thank you for the feedback that the new layout for our blog is now easier to read!

I do noticed however that in some post the colors of headers/sub headers are not readable, this is due to the change of our blog background base, from dark brown to light pink now.

I will do my best to have them changed to a darker and more prominent color, please give me some time as we are in the busy period :)

Boyboy Maltipoo - Board + Train - Behavior Accessment

This is Boyboy's behavior when we accessed him yesterday, he was extremely fearful and aggressive.
Background After discussion, we learned that Boyboy was so aggressive because of the ex trainer recommending choke chains to his family, who had just gotten their first dog and thought that it would benefit his growth to consult a trainer. Not soon after, Boyboy started to choke and even vomited, the trainer then said that it was perfectly normal for dogs to vomit while on the tool. Having doubts, Boyboy's owner stopped the course. But it was too late, he started getting very aggressive especially when the neck area is touched, then not long after he used the same aggression on every other things that he was afraid of, which led to paws, tail and ears.
Boyboy had stayed with us for regular boarding previously and we managed to just work on his aggression towards paws. Now he is here for the full program and we will do our best to eliminate all other issues.
I am not saying that …

Negative signals, are they neccessary?

Today I came across an article on dog signaling, a soft debate on whether to let a dog know when they have done something wrong. For example if the dog is doing something right, the ideal way to enforce this behavior is usually by praising, affection or treats, sometimes together with a vocal command (eg. "Yes", "Good"). However if the dog is doing something wrong, would it be advisable to let it know that the particular action is wrong, by correcting together with vocal command (eg. "No", "Off")?
So to explore further this author consulted a psychologist, the psychologist then used crossword as an example to explain the effects. When you fill in a crossword puzzle and succeed in completing, you naturally get a sense of fulfillment/fun, which equals reward. However if you fill in the wrong information and receive a negative signal to notify you for making a mistake, wouldn't it make the crossword puzzle less interesting? The psychologist in…