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Board Your Pup in Our Home When you Go Away!

By | Class Updates, Continuing Education, Dog Blog, Special Deals & Coupons, Uncategorized | No Comments

WE ARE HERE!  We answered your requests! Going on a trip? Save a little $!

See Spot Sit is now offering boarding for your furry family members.  Going on Vacation? Going on a business trip?  Let us keep your pooch in our home!  Miss Charlotte lives on premises and will be with your dog for love, fun, food, socialization and more!  All of you who have been a student or client and know me, will feel you are leaving your beloved four legged “child” with a good friend or trusted family member.

If you already have a trip planned or you want to plan a trip, pre-pay and get 15% off for boarding or board and train.  Board and train means obedience and/or help rehabilitating a behavior that you aren’t crazy about!  We can lay the foundation for a new behavior and help you learn some new behaviors too!

My belief is that our behavior and actions greatly affect the behavior and actions of our dogs!  This belief is well founded and proven out by lots of studies done by people more educated and lots smarter than me!  Luckily, we can reap the benefits of those studies!

I have devoted my life to YOUR dogs and mine and learning what makes them “tick” (pardon the pun).

Let us welcome your dog into our family while you are gone and save some money by pre-paying for services!

For more information, please fill out the “Contact Us” form on the home page.

We do small play group socialization and group dogs together not just by size but by social skills and level of comfort.  Never more than 4-5 dogs per human.  Here, we treat the dogs as part of the family and I live on premises.  We also offer some training services while boarding if needed. They won’t be in the kennel or crate (your preference) except for sleeping at night and rest time during the day.  Dogs MUST have some down time during the day.  They naturally will choose to rest or nap several times during a day.  If they do not get that, they can become stressed and overwrought, leading to stress and anxiety which can cause them to be “grumpy” and reactive.

At night, some of them will sleep on a bed in the “doggy sleep room” without  being crated or kenneled if that is what they are accustomed to and they sleep through the night.

I want people to feel that they are leaving their dog or dogs with a trusted friend or family.  This work is my passion and I love every dog who comes through my path.  I have worked with over 1800 dogs for training and/or behavior rehabilitation.

Pricing:

Boarding, with socialization is $45 a night.  Second dog is $30 per night and third dog is $20.

If a dog has aggression issues, we will assess them first and depending on the level of aggression, the price may be different.  Severely aggressive dogs will be required to receive behavior modification if they are to be boarded here so Board and Train prices will apply.  We hope that if a dog has aggression issues, their human guardian will choose to allow us to help them while they are here.  That can always be discussed at the time of intake.

All shot records are required of course and food needs to be provided, especially if they are on a special brand or type.

Our “stock food” is 4-Health from Tractor supply and is a very high quality food.  We use the grain free choices.

This is Not Day Care! This is specialized socialization in small groups.

By | Dog Blog, Special Deals & Coupons, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sometimes our dogs can be shy or even fearful around other dogs and people.  Sometimes they are young and just need proper socialization.  What we offer are small groups for those dogs and they are with people and stable dogs so they can learn proper play skills and learn to feel confident and safe in our human world.  They are also in a “home” setting since this is my home 🙂

Half day: $15 (3 hours).  These can be purchased in packages.  If you want to set it up so you can bring your dog 2-3 times a week, you can buy a package and receive a 5% discount.

If they need to come every day, 5 days a week, for a half day or whole day, it’s 5% off for half day, full week packages and 10% off for full day, full week packages. 🙂

WE ARE HERE! We answered your requests! Going on a trip? Save a little $!

By | Continuing Education, Dog Blog, Special Deals & Coupons, Uncategorized | No Comments

See Spot Sit is now offering boarding for your furry family members.  Going on Vacation? Going on a business trip?  Let us keep your pooch in our home!  Miss Charlotte lives on premises and will be with your dog for love, fun, food, socialization and more!  All of you who have been a student or client and know me, will feel you are leaving your beloved four legged “child” with a good friend or trusted family member.

If you already have a trip planned or you want to plan a trip, pre-pay and get 15% off for boarding or board and train.  Board and train means obedience and/or help rehabilitating a behavior that you aren’t crazy about!  We can lay the foundation for a new behavior and help you learn some new behaviors too!

My belief is that our behavior and actions greatly affect the behavior and actions of our dogs!  This belief is well founded and proven out by lots of studies done by people more educated and lots smarter than me!  Luckily, we can reap the benefits of those studies!

I have devoted my life to YOUR dogs and mine and learning what makes them “tick” (pardon the pun).

Let us welcome your dog into our family while you are gone and save some money by pre-paying for services!

For more information, please fill out the “Contact Us” form on the home page.

We do small play group socialization and group dogs together not just by size but by social skills and level of comfort.  Never more than 4-5 dogs per human.  Here, we treat the dogs as part of the family and I live on premises.  We also offer some training services while boarding if needed. They won’t be in the kennel or crate (your preference) except for sleeping at night and rest time during the day.  Dogs MUST have some down time during the day.  They naturally will choose to rest or nap several times during a day.  If they do not get that, they can become stressed and overwrought, leading to stress and anxiety which can cause them to be “grumpy” and reactive.

At night, some of them will sleep on a bed in the “doggy sleep room” without  being crated or kenneled if that is what they are accustomed to and they sleep through the night.

I want people to feel that they are leaving their dog or dogs with a trusted friend or family.  This work is my passion and I love every dog who comes through my path.  I have worked with over 1800 dogs for training and/or behavior rehabilitation.

Pricing:

Boarding, with socialization is $45 a night.  Second dog is $30 per night and third dog is $20.

If a dog has aggression issues, we will assess them first and depending on the level of aggression, the price may be different.  Severely aggressive dogs will be required to receive behavior modification if they are to be boarded here so Board and Train prices will apply.  We hope that if a dog has aggression issues, their human guardian will choose to allow us to help them while they are here.  That can always be discussed at the time of intake.

All shot records are required of course and food needs to be provided, especially if they are on a special brand or type.

Our “stock food” is 4-Health from Tractor supply and is a very high quality food.  We use the grain free choices.

 

Storm (Noise) Fear – worth revisiting

By | Continuing Education | No Comments

Some ways to help!

Stay calm. Adopt a neutral, matter-of-fact attitude.Our dogs reflect back to us all of our emotions and are highly affected by how we feel and behave. If we appear “freaked out” you are telling your dog that you are not in control and your dog will suffer the added stress of a “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!” thought process because he or she is certainly not in any shape to be in control either!

Comfort your dog but be careful not to “coddle” them.  Remember, dogs perceive human emotions on a very literal and basic level.  If you are using a voice that is full of sympathy and worry, it translates to your dog as weakness and, yes, even instability and fear.  Be confident or appear that you are, even if you are not.  Use a calm and confident tone of voice and be sure to hold your body in a confident posture!  You’d be surprised how much difference your body stance and language can make with animals.

If your dog has a spot in the house where they like to go and hide and they seem to feel calmer and safe there, LET THEM! Do not try to force them out from under the bed (or whatever spot they go to for safety) if they are able to go there and get relief from the fear. If they go and hide but constantly whine, shake, whimper, etc. that’s a different situation and you need to intercede.

Helping a dog get over fear of storms or other loud noises (like any other modification of behavior or emotional response) is a process.   Download, buy or Youtube thunderstorm sounds and play them at a volume just below your dog’s trigger threshold.  Simultaneously play a fun game or do a little obedience and give a few treats occasionally in order to keep your dog engaged.  This is counter conditioning through positive association and it is a powerful tool. It must be started when no storms are on the horizon. You can raise the volume in increments and the amount of time it will take depends completely on your commitment to the rehabilitation and your dog’s commitment to the fear.  Every dog is different just like humans and each learns, un-learns and changes how they feel about things at their own pace.  Please, please, be patient and empathetic.  Remember, animals, by instinct, search for comfort and safety from storms.  They are by no means meant to be “storm chasers.” 🙂

There are some natural supplements and “tools” you can try:  Lactium (sold by Swanson vitamins under the label “Women’s Anti-Stress Formula”, dosage 15 mg/kg, and L-theanine, dosage 5mg/kg. Once or twice a day. Very large safety margin, no particular side effects — basically they either help or don’t.  ESSENTIAL OILS! Learn about them and use them!  They are amazing!

Some recommended music/sound therapy:  Through A Dog’s Ear series of CDs  and/or a “white noise” machine. There are recent studies indicating that many dogs respond positively to audio books.  The sound of a calming human voice, for some dogs, may be more effective than music.

Some dogs are comforted by “swaddling” and for those dogs adding a Thunder Shirt or a T-touch wrap may be helpful.

 

Remember, if you try to “coddle” your dog during thes

well before the storm begins.

Above all, be kind and patient throughout the thunderstorm. Do whatever you can to calm your pet without adding to their stress and anxiety. If they need to follow your every step, let them. That means being close to you makes them feel better and, after all, they make us feel better all the time without even being asked. Unconditional love deserves the return of same and this is an easy one. 🙂e times, it can be counter-productive. They sense the upset and emotion in your voice. Instead, reassure them in a confident manner to let them know “I’ve got this. It’s fine.” Be the leader and let your dog know that you are not afraid.

Let’s Talk about German Shepherds

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German Shepherds were originally bred to be herding dogs.  Just before World War I, Captain Max von Stephanitz, began training the dogs to protect German soldiers because he foresaw that the ware was going to reduce the need for working dogs since so many of the men were at war.  Strephanitz eventually brought about standardization of the breed and created the training protocol that would later become known as Schutzhund training.

When bred properly, GSDs are highly intelligent dogs and therefore require a lot of mental stimulation. Mental exercise for an intelligent dog is just as important, if not more important, than physical exercise.  That is not said to minimize in any way the importance of plenty of exercise.

 

Basic obedience training is a must for GSDs and should start EARLY.  It can be extremely beneficial in establishing the proper foundation for the human/dog relationship.  If you do not set yourself up as the one in charge (in my house I call myself the CEO ha) you can expect some behaviors from your dog that will most likely cause you some serious stress and anxiety.  This directly causes the same emotions in your dog!  This is not to say that every GSD will exhibit negative behaviors if the human is not clearly the leader.  Some dogs are born with “soft souls” as I like to call them.  Some are so laid back that they just roll with whatever without any negative reactions.  These dogs, in my experience, have been the exceptions and not the rules in GSDs.  No matter the breed, you cannot and should not ever assume to know the personality of a dog based strictly on breed, or even blood lines.  Every dog has their own personality.  Breeds are predisposed to certain behavioral “traits” but they certainly are not clones or robots and each dog is as individual as you and me.   If your GSD does not know that you are in charge, he/she will take on the job and will exhibit all manner of behaviors that you will find unacceptable (by human standards).  I often say that I believe we expect our dogs to be better humans than we are.

 

German Shepherds are very social and require plenty of attention and companionship.  They are also very athletic – unless they have been bred with extremely sloped backs which causes early onset of hip dysplasia.  (This causes me to see red because it is 100% the fault of humans.)  Moving on, this athletic prowess makes it necessary for them to get plenty of structured, interactive exercise.  I often hear “well, we have a big back yard and my dog runs around the fence line 100 times [insert laughter by owner].  Sadly, that running the fence line – unless it’s running with another dog on the other side – is the equivalent of human pacing.  This does not leave the dog tired and ready to rest but, rather, frustrated and anxious.  Structured, interactive exercise means a human is involved or at the very least another dog buddy with a human present and involved to some degree.

GSDs are bred to be devoted and loyal to their “pack”.  Pack simply means family and nothing more.  Humans are “group dwellers” and typically live in “pack” situations.  They are also very often somewhat aloof and even standoffish with strangers until they are deemed to be a “non-threat”.   However, responsible breeders take care to make sure that they breed for temperament that is stable so that they are safely approachable and outgoing.  Often, people who get GSDs inadvertently mold them into overly aggressive, over-protective, anxious dogs, which can become extremely dangerous.

German Shepherds, being originally bred for forward herding, tend to want to walk in front and turn frequently.  Unless you are well versed on the breed, this can become quite frustrating when attempting to train the loose leash walk. 😊  GSDs are also prone to be constantly “checking in” on their human or humans.  This is exhibited by the dog often looking up at their human while walking together, or coming back into their human’s space often if they are out of sight to make sure the human is present and accounted for, so to speak.

NOW THE FUN STUFF:

Some wonderful games to play with your GSD are “Find It” which is nose work and GSDs have terrific noses!  This game is simply sniffing out a particularly aromatic treat that you have hidden, somewhere in sight at first until they understand the verbal cue and rules of the game, and then made increasingly more challenging in order to provide the mental stimulation they require.

“Find Me” (much like Hide and Seek):

Again, you must start out making the game simple and easy until they understand the verbal cue of “find me” and the rules of the game.  I typically put the dog I a sit and then turn my back.  If it is a very young dog I often use a treat lure to bring them around to face me and sit in front of me looking directly into my eyes.  This requires solid “sit” and “watch” skills but those are easy squeazy!  Then you add distance and higher levels of difficulty in finding you.  You can go hide in another room or behind a treat if you’re outside.  Be Creative!  It’s Play!

“Tug of War”:

Tug is fine to play with your dog as long as you are the last one with the toy in possession.  Your GSD, as well as any other dog, should be taught the “drop” or “give” commands as well as the “leave it” commands to ensure that this game is played safely and stays fun and is not accidentally turned into a real competition.  Sometimes – and guys I’m not picking on you – men will get right in their dog’s face and growl and say things like “Give it To Me!” while making a real [play] serious face.  I have known some to get bitten in the face because of this behavior.  Please remember that your dog is not a furry human.  They are dogs which means they are animals and they act on instinct.  If we trigger purely instinctual responses from them with our behavior, that is on us.  We have a duty to learn their language at least enough to know what NOT to do so that we can keep both our dogs and other humans safe.

Nea and Susan :) A Success Story

By | Dog Blog, Testimonials, Uncategorized | No Comments
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‎Neakita

I just had to share this wonderful picture and story with you. Nea and I went with Carolyn and Djibril to Puppy Mugs at UALR on Saturday after training. I was very proud of Nea and the staff there. We walked up a flight of stairs AND down the flight of stairs. Nea was terrific! She didn’t pull and was only a little nervous on the way down. She paused halfway and looked up at me!! Yahooo!! I just calmly said “good girl! You’ve got this!” And she continued down the stairs. It was a surprisingly narrow stairwell! We waited for treats until we were on solid ground. When we arrived, there was a full hallway of people and dogs. I about had a panic attack. But I remembered MY training and knew I better change my attitude quickly!! Several people nearby tried to reach for Nea to pet her. I just said please don’t, she tends to be nervous and they backed up. Thanks to Carolyn’s quick thinking, Nea and I were allowed to wait in another empty hallway that others just passed through until it was our turn. As people and their dogs steadily streamed by us, Nea just sniffed and watched. I lavished her with treats! There was only one dog that she growled at. But it was quietly, brief and the owner had stopped to talk and was not paying attention to her own dog that was in Nea’s face. This was fantastic since, as you know, Nea doesn’t usually give a warning growl. When it was our turn to have pictures, the workers asked everyone to make a path, that a nervous dog was coming through. Then I told Nea, “with me” and walked my Queen of the world walk straight through the crowded hallway. Shoulders back, head up. People and dogs on both sides. Not one bark. Not one tug on the leash! We Rocked the Walk!! And look how relaxed she looks in the picture!! She sat and stayed for pictures and down stayed for more! Notice the leash laying flat on the ground! She wasn’t startled by the flashes but did want to investigate. The photographer did a few practice flashes and took the time to let Nea look through the room before we got started. And then walked back through the crowd like a champion!! I was so very proud of her!! And the staff was made up of students!!! Not professionals! They were so fantastic!

Thank you for all you have taught us!! Without you, this awesome Puppy Mug survival story wouldn’t be possible!!

Sincerely Amazed and Thankful!!

~Susan and Neakita

How Susan Became the Queen of Her World and “the Walk”

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Learning the art of “Queen of my World” Walk

I was surprised at one of our first training sessions when our trainer, Ms. Charlotte, said to stand without slumping, shoulders back, head up, like you are Queen of the World! She wanted us to pick a destination like a tree or fence post and walk our dogs to that destination with a walk of pure confidence, even if we didn’t feel confident. Well, I wasn’t feeling confident at all. My 90 pound pocket puppy, Nea was misbehaving while Ms. Charlotte talked. Really???? I’ll be honest. My first thought was, “Are you crazy!?!?” I was concentrating on keeping my unruly toddler under control. Nea was barking her big bark and lunging at Ms. Charlotte when she came near. I felt I barely could keep my feet on the ground because I was literally leaning backward with the strain of controlling Nea’s mammoth strength. Nea appeared to be intent on threatening everyone and everything in sight. I was afraid; really afraid. I had a horrible mental image of Nea actually getting away from me and harming a person or dog at class. My nerves were frayed to say the least. It seemed out of the realm of possibility to comply with Ms. Charlotte’s request that I be aware of my body posture when all I could focus on was keeping Nea’s body close to me so that everyone was safe. I now know that my Nea was more afraid than me! Ms. Charlotte says it’s not misbehaving to Nea! She says that “good” and “bad” are human concepts and we force them upon our dogs.

But ok, I thought. My mother always told me to stop slumping, stand straight. So I did it. What could it hurt? And it doesn’t cost anything. Nea seemed to do better…but was it just that she got tired of barking? Ms. Charlotte asked us to please just give her 48 hours of holding our bodies that way when we were with our dogs and that didn’t seem impossible to me.

A little later, I had a chance to talk with Ms. Charlotte about my fears. She said something that really got my attention. She said that I was thinking negatively and I needed to stop it or “You’ll get me hurt”. Whoa!! I’m trying hard to keep everyone safe including my precious dog. And MY negative thoughts and fears are going to “cause” trouble?!? She also told me that if I thought Nea was going to hurt someone, she probably would. She said that everything we think and feel travels down our arm and down the leash, straight into our dog’s mind. I was setting Nea up for failure and that was the opposite of my goal. I wanted her to succeed with all of my heart.

Two days later, I was pondering all of this on my drive to work. I pulled into the parking lot and sat in my car a moment with the Monday blahs! I wasn’t looking forward to the week ahead because the prior week had been extremely stressful. I really didn’t want to be there!! I hear Ms. Charlotte’s voice in my head: “Negative thoughts = Negative results” or something to that effect. Fine! No more “Negative Nancy!” I squared my shoulders, held my head high and put on my positive attitude face as I got out of my car. I was thinking “Okay, here we go!” I walked with purpose. Not hurried; just focused on the goal/destination. Like Ms. Charlotte said. Queen of my world! Queen…not prissy princess…Queen! Two of my co-workers literally chased me down wanting to know whether I was okay. They had noticed my newly found confidence and I can only assume that it worried them. Ha! I laughed and told them about the training class. I now have a new nickname…yes…Negative Nancy! But I don’t mind. It reminds me to Walk my new Walk!

That evening, I decided to put Ms. Charlotte’s theory to the test. I began my walk with Nea just as we always did … sloppy, slumped and no real direction or goal. It was AWFUL. I was not walking with Nea at all, rather she was dragging me! She stopped at every tree to sniff and pulled me everywhere she wanted to go. Finally, I just stopped, took a deep breath and stood still for a long time. Eventually, Nea got bored because and sat down to stare off into the woods. I looked at my wonderful dog who I love with all of my heart and said “”Nea, this isn’t how we walk. You heard Ms. Charlotte.” So, [deep breath] we began the walk again. This time I walked with squared shoulders and my head high [more deep breaths]. I chose a focal point as our destination and started to walk, just the way Ms. Charlotte said we should. I didn’t make a sound or give Nea any command. I just walked. Halfway to the destination, I started to panic just a little. I couldn’t feel any resistance on the leash and for a few seconds thought that Nea had slipped out of her collar and was gone. Then I realized that she was right beside me. We were experiencing our first real “loose leash” walk. I had to fight hard to resist the urge to drop to my knees and cry!!! We finished our journey to our destination and had one of Ms. Charlotte’s silly puppy parties and Nea got lots of treats and praise!

Feeling pretty bold, I decided to play Ms. Charlotte’s “crazy lady walk” game with Nea and it made me laugh … a lot. That night we had a great walk and were both feeling pretty happy. We played games until dinner time.

We are still working on the loose leash walk, as well as lots of other new skills. My training and Nea’s training will take some time to perfect but we are committed! Nea has days when she tries to buck the system and control the walk, and some days she is just distracted. But I am confident in my ability to get her to focus on me and listen to me while I let her know, in a way she understands, what I expect and actually get that behavior from Nea. My beautiful, head strong, somewhat anxious and insecure, dog and I made a huge leap forward that night. All because we listened to a trainer named Ms. Charlotte, who walks a crooked and confusing crazy lady walk!!

~Susan and Neakita