Thursday, December 31, 2009

Don't let New Years Celebrations Screw Up Your Dog

Occasionally we get inquiries as to how to "fix" gun shyness.

I always urge everyone to make sure your dog is properly introduced to gun fire in a very positive way. Since I have always taken great care with this issue, I have never had a dog in my care who developed the problem.

If you buy your pup from a reputable gun dog breeder, the breeder should have introduced the litter to all kinds of loud noises as well as bird wings and live birds. Your job as the new owner is to continue to expose your pup to loud noises--but carefully. Guns at a distance. (We recommend using a starter pistol that uses the same kind of ammo as a commercial grade nail gun. You can buy different strengths of ammo, the lighter of which produces a softer noise.)

Always associate the sound of gun fire with the excitement of a mark (an object thrown by a helper in the field who will fire the pistol at a distance away from the pup.) We train at a field that is next to a freeway, and the freeway noise muffles the sound of the gun fire quite a bit. We introduce guns there and then move out to more wide open spaces where the guns can be heard more clearly. Once our dogs are extremely birdy and used to closer and closer gun fire, we can expect to shoot over them with no problem. If properly introduced, the sight and sound of a gun should produce giddy excitement from your dog--not fear.

Fireworks can frighten a dog. Since we will have a hearty helping of fireworks tonight to welcome in 2010, be sure to minimize how much your dog can hear them. Having a radio or television on will muffle the sound of the celebrations. Make sure as the owner, you act as if nothing at all is wrong. If your dog shows any kind of distress, add some more background noise and IGNORE the dog's discomfort. If you fawn over your dog, petting her and telling her "It's OK," you will be rewarding the behavior and shining a spotlight on a problem. While it makes sense to comfort a frightened child, comforting a dog who is exhibiting stress will have unintended consequences.

If you have a dog that for whatever reason is noise or gun shy, sells a two CD set called

Noiseshy Cure Thunder & Fireworks 2-CD Set

that uses music and recorded thunder & fireworks sounds for desensitization and behavior modification. You can also order a blank starter pistol from these folks. We have done business with this outfit for years and the customer service is top-notch.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fast Pup Dogs Experience Freedom At Car Show

At Fast Pup Dog Training we want every owner to experience peace of mind about their dog's behavior and every dog to experience the freedom that comes from being reliable off leash.

Check out the new video of our dogs attending a car show in downtown Puyallup.

Imagine being able to walk down a busy street with your dog off leash! Trusting your best friend to walk with you on the sidewalk and not having to worry about traffic!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

This Makes House Training A Snap

These four week old puppies are already getting used to a crate

If you want to make house training your puppy as easy as snapping your fingers, you need to use a crate. And not just any crate. The biggest mistake we see people making in terms of selecting a crate is that they go down to the big box store and buy a HUGE crate--one that will be big enough or even too large for their puppy when full grown.
The crate needs to be SMALL. Just big enough for the pup to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. Then as the pup grows, replace that really small crate with another that is just a little bit bigger. Think of the size of the crate as a comparison to the size of a bed you would get for a human baby. We don't have human babies sleep in a king sized bed. The baby feels (and is actually) safer in a small bed such as a crib or play pen. But don't make the mistake of humanizing your puppy and trying to keep them in something like a play pen. Dogs need to feel safe by being inside something.

Yikes! "Isn't putting a puppy in such a small space cruel," we always get asked. Nope. Not at all. Dogs naturally den. In the wild, they seek out or dig a small, dark place for safety, to sleep and have pups. Just a couple of weeks ago, when our dog was getting ready to whelp pups, she kept clawing her way under a small twin bed we keep in the office for the dogs to lounge on. That is where she naturally felt safe. In such a small space she could barely get in and out of.

Using the dog's natural instinct to den gives you a great advantage in house training, making your life easier and to giving the dog what she needs. People make the mistake all the time of thinking of their dogs' needs in terms of human needs, which are not the same. Giving your dog what she needs will ensure successful training and make your dog feel much safer at the same time.

Another advantage of using a correctly sized small crate from the beginning is that it is easy to move the small crate and pup around with you in the house. Dogs are pack animals and they have a strong need to be with their pack. When I am raising a pup, she stays with me as much as possible for bonding, but she stays in her crate a great deal of the time. She is right there next to me as I work on the computer or tidy up the kitchen. I can talk to her and she can let me know if she needs to go outside, but at the same time she is contained in a small space that she won't soil.

Keep the pup on a schedule. You can either pick the pup up and carry her outside to eliminate, or you can move the crate to the outside door, opening up the crate and encouraging her to go out on her own. You should always give the dog plenty of outside time after she eats and drinks. Then, take her out every couple of hours or when she acts fussy.

If you will progress from smaller to larger crates for the first couple of months, and you stay very consistent about using the crates, you will find that your dog will become house trained effectively by about five months or so.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Training Starts at Birth for Tacoma Dog Trainer Johansson

New! Puppies in training!

Pups shown here are Joanie & Litter Mates. Our pups are less than two weeks old as of this posting. Watch for new pics as they grow!

Joanie, our five year old black Lab, AKC SH (Senior hunter)
blessed us with a rainbow litter on December 13th, 2009. Joanie was bred to Max, a Master Hunter (AKC) who is also the chief duck dog for a hunting club on Sauvie Island outside of Portland.

There are two chocolate females, a chocolate male, a black female and black male and a yellow female. The dogs were born in our guest bedroom and spent the first three days snuggled with Mom on blankets in a small plastic wading pool. Then they were transferred to the whelping box in the garage under a heat lamp.

The pups are handled by Kate on a daily basis, even when first born--without eyes open. Today, Christmas day, the pups' eyes are starting to open. By next week, we will be spending more time playing and interacting with them. They have already started riding in the truck inside a crate. As they grow, we will be putting them through tests to see how they react to challenges of problem solving. We will be introducing them to toys, balls, bird feathers, and even birds as they get a little older. They will be exposed to loud noises and introduced to far-off gun fire and duck calls. By the time they are ready to go to their new homes, they will be crate conditioned and used to sleeping through the night in their crate.

They will be ready to go to their new homes between 7 & 8 weeks of age. One or two will be staying on to be trained as gun dogs by Kate. The pups who stay on will begin their obedience training between 7 & 8 weeks old. They will first learn to sit and wait patiently for their food. (The pups will be at the bottom of the pack and will get their food after everyone else has been released to theirs.) They will start learning to sit, stay and come. They will learn the "place" command by age 3 months. They will also be introduced to marking and retrieving birds and bumpers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Warning! Pet Dog Training Franchise Watch Out!

If anyone is tempted to sign a Franchise Agreement for a Pet Dog Training Franchise Business Opportunity, Watch Out!

Read this article:

Please feel free to contact us for details!

Monday, December 7, 2009

All I Want For Christmas In Tacoma Is A Well Trained Dog

Santa (Or Kate Johansson) Can Deliver a Well Trained Dog!

Fast Pup Reindeer & Sleigh
Fast Pup Dog Training's Version of Reindeer!

Below is a picture of Jody Vosburg's Jack Russell Terrier, Roxy.

Here is a letter from Jody:

I had not planned on getting a dog yet, when Roxy my Jack Russell Terrier came in to my life in May 2008. I had a new home and property that was not fenced. A friend knew I needed a companion and that I wanted a Jack Russell someday and she could not keep Roxy. When I saw Roxy she was exactly what I had pictured so I brought her home. I and my mother were afraid to let her loose knowing she had not had any training and how Jack Russell's are not known for coming when called and are great at running off exploring.

It all started when I went to the Harbor Hounds Walk in September 2008 with a friend and her dog. First thing when we parked--Roxy got excited with all the surrounding distractions and bolted out for the car and away from my friends daughter who wanted to walk her. Thank God no cars were coming and she just ran to the first dog and it was nice to her and we got her caught. The rest of the day went great but I really didn't like not having control without a leash.

Kate had a booth and demonstration at the walk. There were several dogs doing what they were told and not running off in the demonstration and I was impressed. I also got to take Roxy through an agility course they had set up and she really liked it. I took a brochure and went home to talk it over with my mom.

We decided to go for a demonstration at one of her classes that happened to be in Kent. Again there was several dogs of different breeds, ages and their owners all working with their dogs with out a leash together . They were all sitting and staying while one walked around the one's staying. I thought Roxy would never be able to do that! She couldn't even sit still to watch on a leash! After the class, Kate did a personal demonstration and worked with Roxy for a few minutes then she told us about the program and the cost with the equipment. I was a little set back initially at the cost and we decided to go home and talk about it. Before we got home to Port Orchard we had decided it was worth it for Roxy's safety and our piece of mind. Also the lifetime classes and walks. The next day I faxed in my sign up form and I am so happy.

I can go anywhere with out a leash. As a matter of fact Roxy did sit and stay at her 1st class! I was amazed--and I know my mother would not have believed it if she had not been there to see it! I am glad I invested in this program. Roxy goes everywhere possible with me and I do not have to use a leash or worry she will run away and get hurt or lost. She is also great in the house and does not jump on people when they visit which is an added bonus.

Jody and Roxy
Port Orchard WA

Roxie for Christmas
Roxy is a Jack Russell Terrier Owned By Jody Vosburg

At Fast Pup Dog Training we work with dogs of all sizes and temperaments. We believe all dogs deserve to live a rich, full life with the freedom that comes from excellent training. When your dog is trustworthy--even off leash around severe distractions, owners experience such peace of mind. Breath a sigh of relief with a well trained dog

Dog Trainer Kate Johansson Hosts Tacoma Radio Show

Fast Pup Dog Training's New Radio Show Saturdays At Noon On KLAY 1180 AM Tacoma. "Dog Talk Radio!"
Dogs at Radio Show Check out our recent radio shows! Visit our website (see link to right) and click on the radio button on home page. Then you can listen to shows and interviews. Recent guests include Jim Charbonneau from Country Kennels (a FIRST-CLASS boarding facility,) Rema Strauss from K-9 Rejuvenation (a wonderful warm water canine aquatic spa,) Kristy Baird (from Dock Jumping Labs) and certified veterinary technician,Kelly Buchanan (from Portland Avenue Small Animal Hospital.)

Fast Pup Clients' Well Behaved Dog Travels Cross Country

Greetings From Kenny, Katie & Sandy Bayness
Recently Fast Pup Dog Training Clients Katie & Kenny relocated to Ohio with their young Labradoodle, Sandy. We miss you guys! Merry Christmas & good luck in your new home!
Sandy Bayness
Hi Kate!! Sorry that its been a while since we've written. We just wanted to give you an update about how things are going and how Sandy is doing. We made it cross country, and had a blast on our trip. I attached a few photos from the trip as well as a few once we got to my mom and dad's house in Ohio.
Sandy Yellowstone SignSandy did marvelous on the trip, she was very well behaved and I think she enjoyed going to the different places and making new dog friends along the way :)
Sandy Family YellowstoneSandy is enjoying living in the country for the time being and she likes being able to go outside and just run. She is behaving great and still is able to do everything we ask of her.
Sandy & AngelMy mom works at a school for disabled children and one of the teachers has actually asked if we would like to bring Sandy in to visit the class. It's amazing how calm and easy going she becomes around disabled people or older people.
Kenny and I have jobs so we are looking for houses currently, we called about a house yesterday that actually has a pretty big yard that would be great for Sandy to have some room to play at home. We will keep you updated with new photos and let you know how everything is going. I hope class is going great. Are you still having the offleash walks? Tell everybody we said hi!
Thanks for everything,
Katie (and Kenny & Sandy too!)