Separation Anxiety and Rescue Dogs

Meet Chalu, a recent member at Dharma Dog Daycare and Grooming.

He’s a shy little guy who doesn’t really have a good sense of comfort with his surroundings yet. We don’t know too much about his past life, but he came to his owners John and David* in the last month.

They love this little guy!

He has made such great strides in becoming more confident, and here are some of the steps that we have taken at Dharma Dog to help him become a better balanced dog.

Originally we limited his interaction with EVERYONE! I just wanted him to get a feel for our shop and listen to and smell all of the excitement and dogs.

Gradually we established trust amongst the human members of Dharma Dog and were able to very gradually expose him to one dog at a time. This was a very slow and methodical process as we were hoping to build fun and calm interactions.

Eventually Chalu was ready to join the group of dogs and was very much the wallflower. He would often choose his kennel as a secure area to hide and watch the group from a distance.

His curiosity continued to peak until he finally decided that he wanted to voluntarily meet the other dogs.

After 4 weeks of Chalu attending we can comfortably leave him amongst the group where he chooses to romp around and play! He still needs his space on occasion and most of the dogs will gladly oblige.

A small victory, but definitely one of the feel good reasons why I like my career.

Keys to success with shy dogs:

1. understand them

2. earn their trust

3. be patient

4. prevent stress

5. reward the great decisions

6. repeat!

*names changed for privacy

 

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Dog Trainers and Their Egos

Q:What is the only thing that two dog trainers will ever agree upon?

A: What the third dog trainer is doing wrong!

 

badump chhhh! (drum sound)

 

I guess I’m writing this piece in order to clarify my opinion on the “correct” way to train a dog. In my opinion there is NO set way to train a dog. There is definitely a wrong way though. Anything involving physical force or fear won’t solve problems with your dog.

I think the process of training a dog should be customized to each individual dog’s personality, temperament, lifestyle, history and breed. Our name, and logo is based on this philosophy and our goal to help dogs maintain a stress free life.

1. Look at things from your dog’s point of view; it’s a lot different when you truly look at their lack of understanding of our society, and being.

2. Simplify communication; speak their language and gradually teach them bits of ours. Did you know that dogs use body language as their primary communication device?

3. Discover what motivates them; is it food? play? praise and affection? When you can pinpoint one or all four, reward them for making great decisions using the best one.

4. Set rules and boundaries. Enforce them consistently.

5. Understand that they are NOT human.

6. Have FUN!! 

7. Learn to love the following acronym: C.R.A.P.

C onsistency

R epetition

A ction

P raise

If you can be flexible and be willing to learn multiple points of view, you may be able to not only better understand your own dog but many others. I try to leave my ego at the door when dealing with people or animals and open myself up to learning as much as possible. Take a scientific approach to prove or negate results.

Life is fun and so should working with your dog 🙂

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This image is a representation of my approach with dogs

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

Why We Love the Dog Industry

family

Okay, two blogs in one week! Either I’m feeling productive or our shop is slow. Well it was definitely  a busy day so I guess I have the caffeine pumping.

I open the doors here at Dharma Dog at 7:45am. Usually half asleep and coffee in hand I’ll put out our sandwich board facing 57th Avenue, turn on the lights and neon open sign, and finally  get ready for the day ahead of me.

The job may appear fairly simple to the naked eye; you get to play with dogs all day! Not quite. As my clients already know we offer dog daycare, dog grooming, and boarding services. Our clients entrust us with one of if not their most prized and loved companions. It’s a huge responsibility.

Although the job isn’t simple, our goal at Dharma Dog is. We want to create a welcoming environment, built on the foundation of quality service, top grooming skills, and trust.

It’s funny, as I’m sure many companies will list their philosophy in order to attract new clients and perhaps many truly mean what they say. I can only speak for ourselves, and we really truly want all of our customers to be happy with their experience at Dharma Dog.

When a client is unhappy with our service we really take it to heart. I guess that happens when you’re giving it all you’ve got. I’ve actually lost sleep when a client has been unsatisfied because I literally tried everything to appease the situation. Luckily we resolved the issue and it all came down to a miscommunication… isn’t that often the case?

Now, on the flip side of things, you wouldn’t believe how genuinely happy we are when a client leaves satisfied! There are many high fives behind the scene after a client’s left our premises because they gave us a compliment or left with a smile on their face.

We love getting to know everyone and their dogs. Not only is it essential to get to know and understand each dog and their individual personality in order to create as peaceful a daycare environment as possible, but it is also a pleasure to watch dogs develop socially. We often will see dogs who are initially timid quickly develop into fun-loving playful trouble makers 😉

We love seeing our customers walk away after learning something new about their dog, or learning a new health tip. It feels great being able to really help someone out. Oh yea, I am always available for advice during business hours 🙂

Throughout the work day I am a host, a receptionist, a janitor (ewww), an accountant, a marketing executive, a dog behaviourist, a handy man, a computer technician, a sales rep, a scheduling coordinator, a manager, a troubleshooter, a friend, and ally, a sounding board, and a dog chew toy! I’m sure that I left some of the duties out.

The dogs’ owners will stagger in at the end of their individual work days between 2:00pm and 6:45pm and one by one I’ll say hello and goodbye. After all of this, I begin my breakdown of the shop. Sandwich board in. Shop vacuumed, floors cleaned and disinfected, cash out and counted, and finally turn off all of the electronics.

I will usually do a quality check after all of these stages and if everything looks good I can turn off all of the lights and lock up.

As soon as the door is locked I leave the Dharma Dog world behind me and put on my husband and dad hat.

It’s a long day at our little shop, but I always leave happy. Just not as happy as when I get home to see my wife Joanne and son Miles 😉

What an Unpleasant Surprise (Our Dog Left Us)

We came home from dinner with the in-laws last night around 10 pm. It was a great night, great food and a little basketball to boot.

We left our dog alone for 4 hours. This is a regular occurrence, and not really out of the norm of our day-to-day lives. We usually come home to a happy dog and we are glad to see him as well.

Last night, however, was a little different.

Our dog was really happy to see us. I mean, over excited anxious kind of happy. I didn’t really think much of it at the time but it was definitely some foreshadowing for what I would discover later.

We were taking care of business, putting the baby to bed and winding down. My wife went upstairs to our bedroom where I heard gasping for air and shouting, “Gross!” She hurried down the stairs and stated dejectedly, “Theres mushy dog poop in our bedroom!”  Gross was right. I’d not really experienced this phenomena with my dog since he was a puppy so I was out of practice in regards to cleaning it without damaging our carpets further. The poor guy had an upset stomach. (He’s okay now: vet checked and approved.)

I started doing some research and came across the most effective ways to remove dog poo and dog pee out of carpet.

I’m almost embarrassed writing this but I found the information useful and decided to share the nitty-gritty with you all 🙂

Poo:

Step 1: Pick up any large chunks.

Step 2: LET IT DRY…

Step 3: When it is completely dry, use a fork (one that you’re comfortable with never ever using again) and scrape all of the dried poop OUT of your carpet.

Step 4: vacuum all of nasty dried poop.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4.

Step 6: With a bucket of hot water and laundry detergent, use a sponge to gently remove any discoloration.

Step 7: Repeat if necessary.

 

Pee:

Once again… I apologize for todays content.

Step 1: Use papertowel and place it on the area soaked with urine and BLOT.

Step 2: Really press down on the towel to remove ALL moisture from the carpet.

Step 3: Enzyme cleaners are the best to kill any odour or bacteria. You can find these at your local vacuum stores and many pet stores.

Step 4: After using your cleaning solution, blot again and dry.

Step 5: Use the cleaner again and cover with wax paper or cellophane to keep the area wet.

Step 6: After about two days you can expect to have fully removed the stain and killed any off-gassing odours.

Step 7: If this hasn’t help consider calling a professional carpet cleaner.

 

Good luck! I hope that this helps… Better yet, I hope that you never have to use this information 😛Image