I suppose I'm dating myself a bit with a reference to the Twilight Zone.
Once upon a time it was not only a popular TV show (admittedly before even MY time), but it also became a part of our language and culture. When something would seem upside down, or completely bizarre in nature, one might make a reference such as
"Is this the Twilight Zone?"
Maybe you get it, maybe you don't.
Either way, as I look around the world of dog ownership I'm seeing some pretty characteristic stuff that warrants a "twilight zone" reference.
But first, let's talk about health and money.
Want to know why there are so many books out there on wealth and financial success?
Because there are a lot of people who want more money!
So in their quest to achieve greater financial success, they consume material that will help them in their missions. Often times those books,...
No, it’s not a clickbait title.
I’m absolutely going to use a car, specifically your car’s tires and balance, to help you understand more about your dog.
But first, let’s talk about a recent conversation I had with a dog owner.
Cindy had recently made the huge leap of fantastic judgment to decrease the amount of daily kibble her dog received. The dog was seriously overweight and at substantial risk for numerous health issues and was already experiencing discomfort from carrying more fat on his frame than he was ever meant to. This is a huge step for Cindy, as many dog owners overfeed their dogs, ultimately shortening the lifespan of these already short-lived animals who bring us so much joy and love.
Good job Cindy, I mean it.
Within several days of the adjusted daily food amount, Cindy noticed some things in her dog’s behavior that alarmed her.
For starters, the dog was much, MUCH...
If you get 5 colds a year, and you are constantly looking for a new cold medicine, you can pretty much guarantee that you keep getting 5 colds a year.
Hopefully, we all know that no cold medicine actually “cures” the common cold, or prevents you from ever getting it. What is it that cold medicines do?
They treat the symptoms of the cold.
If you’re getting 5 or more colds a year, treating symptoms is not doing your body any help. There is a problem. That problem lies in your overall health, your immune system, your diet, or something else.
Your runny nose is NOT your problem.
Your constant getting sick IS your problem.
Now that we can clearly see that, let’s talk about life with your dog.
When the symptoms of the problem in their relationship with their dog become unbearable.
Unfortunately, not many people are proactive in...
I hated economics class.
Like, HATED it.
I hated it in high school, and when in college that hate grew to proportions only rivaled by my thoughts of math class.
Despite my personal grudge against the content that often left me staring off into space (this is before cell phones were what they are so no such distractions were available), I still remember a couple of crucial lessons that directly apply to life with a dog.
In particular, how we can influence our dog’s perspective of life with us and what is valuable. While this concept applies to many different things that we can get benefit from in our life with our dogs, we are going to focus right now on food.
The more availability something has, it’s easy for us to become disinterested.
Can’t picture what I mean?
Think about dating. Ever heard the term “play hard to get”?
Think back to...
Are you ready for it?
The question that damn near every dog owner is dying to have the answer to.
Think of all the YouTubes you've watched searching for it.
All the facebook group comments you've read and acted on only to be right back to where you started.
You would give a small fortune to whoever could help you discover what is the single most effective dog training tool there is.
I'll take that small fortune now if you don't mind. Cash only please, no coins.
Every single person who owns a dog already has the greatest tool, they just don't want to use it.
I'll give you a minute to suck your teeth and roll your eyes if that's how you deal with hearing things you don't want to hear.
It's the simple truth.
While people are busy wasting precious time, (dogs don't live very long lives folks) and trying every collar and harness known to exist, they are missing out on...
Excerpt from my upcoming book yet to be titled...
“My dog is A-MAAAAAAAAAAA-ZING” he said with massive dramatic presentation.
I was actually quite impressed with the sincerity of his proclamation regarding his dog’s wonder. However, Frederick wasn’t speaking to me because his dog was a-maaaaaazing, he had reached out to me for help because his dog was barking, spinning, and lunging non stop while on walks and seeing dogs or people.
“Our only problem is on walks when he sees a person or another dog,” he said in almost a dismissive tone.
Had I not had this conversation countless times in the past 20 years, I might have been confused. If the dog was so amazing, so great, so wonderful, how on earth could he be so out of control while on a leash, and how on earth could the owner be so dismissive about a serious issue that could result in tragedy for the dog? Frederick was consulting me for training...
I've put in some serious work between my Instagram, Facebook, and my old blog trying to help people make solid decisions when contemplating getting a second dog.
Most of the time I'm talking them out of it.
Read the other article that addresses THAT question HERE.
I'm writing this for those who are bringing that second dog home and nothing is going to change their mind.
With the decision already made the next course of action is to make sure that process goes as well as can be hoped for. At this point as a teacher, I have to recognize when and where to focus my educational efforts.
First Things First
If a smooth homecoming and integration for the new dog is what you want, then focusing immediately on your FIRST dog is what you need to do ASAP.
The relationship you have with the first dog is going to play a huge role in how that dog deals with the massive disruption to daily life that the addition of a second dog...
I speak with dog owners every day about the challenges they have with their dogs.
When speaking with a woman ( we will call her Tammy even though that's not even close to her real name) about her dog's habit of not coming back in the house when in the yard playing, the conversation was no different than almost every other one I have.
Tammy started out the same way most people do, by saying "I have a GREAT relationship with my dog..."
Then they will go on to describe the problem they are having.
Before I get into ANY discussion of what they want the solution to I ask questions. I'm a teacher after all and the name of my business is Socratic Canine, (google the word Socratic if you don't understand the reference). I ask questions that catch nearly every person completely off guard.
I asked Tammy, "That's awesome! Could you take a moment to tell me what makes the relationship so great?"
Nearly every time I ask that they...
You have a puppy, or maybe you have a friend who has one and you just got home from their house covered in puppy teeth marks and are about to try and find an article to slip into their inbox. Be careful with that, people can be sensitive about taking advice, especially when they need it most...
So the puppy is nipping, bitting, and doing it's best impression of a baby alligator on meth.
What to do?
I feel like I could write an entire book on just THIS subject alone, but alas, here you are looking for the most amount of help in the smallest, cheapest, easiest to consume manner, a blog (more about your desire for quick fixes later). I will try and provide you with the most VALUABLE information that you need at this point as opposed to the information you want.
What's the difference?
Well, you want me to type out some quick and easy magical fixes that will turn your puppy into...well..something other than a puppy.
That's mistake #1 you have...
It's time I get this blog going!
With everything I've been working on here at Socratic Canine, getting this blog up and running took a back seat.
Waaaaay in the back! lol
Today I decided to at least get some words and sentences in here which will end up helping me more than anybody else, to get going on getting you what you need most in the moment you need it.
I want to explain the purpose of this "blog" and what you will read on here.
So many people are struggling with various aspects of life with their dog. When they encounter what they perceive as a problem, they take to the internet to get a solution. Unfortunately most of what they find and try to implement, will ultimately lead to little or no long term change at all.
Sometimes it can even get worse!
What is frequently seen as a problem is most often times a symptom of a bigger problem. That bigger problem is that your dog...