I don't know about helmets on dogs, but kids wear helmets, right?
I took my bike in to the bike store the other day and a young mother was trying a helmet on her child - a little boy, I'm guessing maybe 2 years old. (I never had kids so I'm not good at knowing their ages. LOL)
The kid was crying and fighting! Boo!
I wanted to help, but I knew it wouldn't go over well if I said, "I don't have children, but I am a dog trainer and kids and dogs are a lot alike and I can help you teach your child to LIKE wearing that helmet."
So I said, "I'm a teacher. Would you like me to give you some tips on how to get your son to LIKE wearing his helmet?"
She said she would. Yeah!
"Well, first of all," I said, "I wouldn't force it on him. I'd get one that looks like it will probably fit, and take it home. Keep it in new condition in case you need to exchange it, or get a cheap, used one to use for 'training,' then buy a new one when he's willing to try them on."
I suggested that at home, she find ways to reward him for bringing it to her when she asks, maybe develop a little game with the helmet where he gets rewarded for carrying it around and interacting with it, maybe wear her OWN helmet around the house, hopefully inspiring him to want to wear his, too. I suggested that if she and her husband sat down to dinner with their helmets on, he might want his on too.
I told her to get creative and to not put it on him until he asks. Do everything in baby steps and keep it positive and fun. Why cause trauma and stress? Be patient and do it with his cooperation. Much better!
I didn't tell her this, but this method will help her child TRUST her more, so this type of thing can go quicker in the future. What she was doing was damaging her child's trust in her.
Teach dogs and kids to LIKE wearing foreign objects.
When training dogs, NEVER force them. It also damages THEIR trust and when you force, you get resistance. There's always a kinder, more positive way to get the dog to WANT to do it. See Jetta wearing her muzzle? She LOVED it! I taught her with positive-reinforcement. If I had forced her, she'd hate it (or at best, tolerate it), and possibly try to remove it when she got a chance. (All she'd have to do was flick the back of it with her paw and it would pop right off.) Jetta NEVER ONCE tried to take it off.
Jetta LOVED wearing her muzzle.
Want to know how to train a dog to wear a muzzle, or for that matter, a helmet? Message me! Happy to send you my instructions.
Remember Sheba, who I wrote about a couple weeks ago?
She's the girl who had a potty bell and Mom Ericka took it away because it wasn't working as well as she'd hoped. (My message: Never rely on your dog to ring a bell to go out. If you missed that post, see it below.)
Anyway - I checked up on them, as I always do after lessons, and Ericka said she was concerned because her husband and 14-year-old son are not helping with, or even supporting, the training.
PLUS, when Ericka and Sheba started their lesson, Ericka told me that Sheba jumped on everyone, which she wanted to stop, but her husband was disappointed because he LIKES it when she's wild and crazy.
She was worried, naturally, that she won't be ABLE to train Sheba if they aren't on-board with it.
From Left: Fit, Fat, Obese
Diagram from The Whole Dog Journal (www.whole-dog-journal.com/)
It's a (forgive the pun) HUGE subject. It's actually a problem of epidemic proportions.
Overweight dogs don't live as long as fit dogs. And they don't get overweight because they were spayed or neutered, per se.
Being altered can change their metabolism, but all that means is that you need to feed them less (and save the money - in fact, the surgery may then pay for itself, eh?)
To get them to lose weight, feed them less, and/or exercise them more. (Dogs should exercise twice a day, generally speaking.)
Remember to reduce portions gradually, so he doesn't get too hungry.
Obviously Obese (This is abuse, no?)
Poor Little Fat Dog - Hard to get around!
Please Don't Ring The Bell!
Potty Bell? Cute, but...
Ever think of teaching your dog to ring a bell to go out to potty? Well, you may want to think twice about that.
For one thing, what happens if he can't get to the bell? Like if the room is closed off? Or if he rings the bell, but you don't hear it because you are in another room or in the shower or listening to loud music?
Generally, these kids will just potty near the bell.
Here is one of my students, Sheba. We finished our self-calming lesson yesterday, during which Mom became convinced to remove her potty bell.
"Sheba was great at letting us know when she had to go," Mom Ericka says. "But if there wasn't a bell around, she would go in the house." Ericka says problems arose when they had her in the basement (the bell was upstairs at the back door) and that it was especially frustrating when visiting friends and family.
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