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Dear Dr. Sue

Dear Sue,

   I recently got an Amazon Dot and I read that you can ask Alexa to read a book - so I said “Alexa, read me a book.” 

 

And wouldn't ya know, she began to read your book “GedDown! by Sue Myles”!!!!



I was like “What??!!  Alexa continued to read your book and I listened to the whole thing! How very cool. I assume it is because I had downloaded your book on my Amazon Kindle, but I have other books. Amazing how she picked yours to read to Harley and me.

(Only negative is Alexa’s voice isn’t yours and not as entertaining but it’s still informative.)

 

With Love,

 Mary C.

February Is American Heart Health Month- And That Includes Your Dog's!

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One important thing that owners can do to stave off heart disease is to prevent their dogs from becoming obese. Overweight dogs, like overweight people,
are predisposed to developing heart problems. Dogs that exercise regularly tend to have better heart health than portly, sedentary animals.

So get up, grab that leash, and go for a walk!

 

 

Or, Better yet, sign up for one of my dog sports classes!

 

5 Christmas Cheers For Your Dog

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  1. 1. Feed 'em a feast. Split up his regular meal into three bowls. He'll think he's been served from the King's table. Sprinkle a bit o turkey on top and he's had a Christmas dinner, too

  2. Stink up his toys. Yes, buy him toys but before you wrap them up stink them up. Bury them in your laundry basket for three days. Now, when he opens his Christmas hedgehog, duck or elf it'll smell like you. A smell-like-my-owner toy becomes the favorite.

  3. Put up a tree and use your Leave It! training. Even a home with a pup can enjoy a tree. Put up that pungent pine or flocked fir, apply a little training and the ornaments survive. Tinsel might have to wait till that pup grows up.

  4. Tie a big red bow around his neck and show him off. Entertain your family and guests with Bitsy's amazing tricks and training. It's his Christmas too so let him be a star….just not the one at the top of the tree.

  5. Want to make a donation to dogs? Call your own pet's vet and tell Dr. Doolittle that you'll donate some dollars the next time a loving but cash strapped owner comes in with a sick pet of your favorite breed. Let's make the whole year merry for someone with a cherished pet that can recover.

Give Your Dog A Gift That Really Stinks!

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Got your dog a brand new toy?
A dinosaur that bleats or a hedgehog that squeaks?
Maybe a bug eyed sheep with little green feet?

How does your dog know it’s a dog toy? Can he read the label?
All you need to accomplish this literary feat is a laundry hamper.
Contrary to popular opinion all dogs are literate.
They read with their noses and insist that all popular dog novels
be prepared in an olfactory factory.

Stuff the new toy into the laundry hamper and let the bleating sheep marinate for a day before presenting it to your dog. Yes, a day long snuggle up with the socks makes the toy undeniably his. The dog’s motto, ‘he who has the most stink wins’ is written with invisible ink on all doggie foreheads.  The more an item is handled, worn or otherwise stunk up by humans the more valued it becomes to dogs. Yes, this is why  remotes are more likely to be chewed than the dictionary.

If dogs could bid on ebay underwear and socks would lead the chase. Pillowcases, those repositories of high stink hair oils, would also be sought after with doggie teeth bared. Shoes, glasses, wallets, and purses are all valued items in the stink parade. If you got the stink then you get the bids.

Plunge those new toys into the holder of all things laundry and watch how well your dog reads. He’ll be a speed chewer with a photographic nose memory for all the toys in his universe.

A Sneak Peak Of Ouch! The Ten Simple Steps - That Really Work! - To Stop Your Puppy's Biting.

Enjoy A Sneak Peak of My Book-

Ouch! The Ten Simple Steps- That Really Work!- To Stop Your Puppy's Biting.

 

The Butter Game

     Who's a pup's best friend? You! What's the best friends' best friend? Butter, butter and a bit more butter. This magic elixir from cows, goats and sheep saves your hide. Grab the tub, the stick or the spray and here's to happier nights and bite-free days.

     Yogurt, the staple of all puppy-raising cowherds, is a good player, too. It's tasty and full of nifty probiotics that help your pup digest his breakfast of champions. If you are not a butter-buying home a slather of yogurt does the trick.

     Young pups, before the age of doggie reason, cheerfully bite their way through the world. They don't yet know that licking trumps biting. Yes, teaching your pup to lick instead of biting does help. No, creating a kisser does not make your pup  an annoying licker as an adult or even a too-popular party pup.

Let's unleash the lick.

     Pups engage with humans with their teeth first. The poor pup; all he wants is good times and fast living. The poor human; all he wants is to love the pup but, alas, sharp teeth prevail. Let's broker a peace agreement under the banner of butter.

     Smear a small amount of butter on your skin. Use butter on your hands and arms.  Use a very small amount, just enough to make your skin glisten. Blobs of butter on your arm create puppy poop mountains on your carpet.  (Glistening skin is in and vast amounts of butter are not.)

     When you sit down to play with and love your pup, an intoxicating (to the pup) scent arrives on the scene. Intrigued, your eager pup approaches your arm, sniffs and, with gusto, starts to lick. Yippee! No blood! No tears! It’s a calm and pain-free puppy interaction and one your grocer encourages.

     Become the puppy trainer others admire by using the 'labeling' method of training and creating the smartest little guy in town.

     The definition of Labeling training is noticing when your pup does a certain behavior (action) and attaching a name for that action when it occurs. When your pup licks your arm instead of shredding it, label the licking behavior. Now, that action has a name, a special name, given by you.

      Pups in demonstrative homes learn that licking is called "kisses.' Other students, less comfortable with public displays of affection,  label licking as "easy," "gentle," or the ever popular "No bite! No bite! For the love of George Washington! No bite!"

     There's no official label for the behavior of licking. Choose the label you like and are willing to use when the in-laws are around. Pups who grow up in a home where the cues and commands are reliable and predictable have an easier, and faster, time of learning to use their tongues for more than lapping water.

      A pup that has twenty opportunities a day to discover their human tastes like a basted turkey learns much faster than a pup with only a single chance. Teeny weeny itsy bitsy amounts used twenty times a day is more effective than a pat of butter once a day.

     Do you watch television? Try a round of butter twice during each episode of anything. After a successful housetraining outing toss a bite-n-butter party. Training a few Sits and Downs? End the session with a carefree, bite-free interaction with you, the pup and Land O Lakes. Give the pup many chances to encounter buttered-up skin throughout each day and the world of a kissing, loving pup is yours.

     No, you won't make the tyke sick with his plentiful butter opportunities as long as the larger brain (that's you) remembers to use the right amount of butter.

      Had a dog whose tongue was the talk of the neighborhood? Rest assured that causes other than a tub o' butter were at work.

     Enthused lickers did not become the scourge of the salivaphobic because of Butter Game training during puppyhood. Obsessive, annoying and otherwise gross-you-out licking is caused from anxiety, fearfulness, compulsive disorders and too much exposure to texting.

     Practice may not make perfect but it's better than bleeding.

 

From my voice mail

     Hello my name is Robert Harwood and I am calling about private training. I do not want to take my dog to classes because other dogs might give him diseases and even if people say the puppies are vaccinated they might lie so can you come to my house? I have everyone step in a bath of bleach to kill germs and then wash your hands before you touch him so if you will not do that do not bother calling back and if you do call back be sure not to wear any deodorant, perfume or lotion when you come over because I am chemically sensitive.

Dear Dr. Sue

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Hello to Bailey and his family,

     Thanks for the genius compliment...it's more the forty years of understanding the life of tiny breeds that clued me into the problem. As long as he has enough blanket to keep himself warm, he won't wake up through the night. Thanks for buying and reading my book Pee Free. See you in class!

When is a dog behavior actually a canine miscommunication?

Dear Dr. Sue

      We just adopted an older dog from the animal shelter and couldn't be happier. He's a good dog but we've encountered one small behavioral problem that I think may actually be fairly common in rescue dogs. When my seven -year-old son hugs him, our new dog gets tense and growls. He's never actually tried to bite, but I'm worried this could be a sign of future aggressive dog behavior. Otherwise he is always such a loving and sweet dog. What can we do?

 

Sincerely,

   Growly Guy


 

Dear Growly Guy,

     Congratulations on your new addition!  Thanks for giving this dog a second chance. Now, let's give him the best chance.

      Dogs don’t like to be hugged. It's an anti-dog behavior. Sure, your human kid knows that hugging is an expression of love, but that's a human behavior, not a dog behavior. And here in lies our clash of cultures.

     Explain to your son that hugging makes a dog feel trapped. To a dog, a hug feels a lot like a neck hold. When your new pup struggles to escape this uncomfortable embrace, as is a normal dog behavior, your son tightens his hold (a normal kid behavior) thus making your dog nervous and uncomfortable, which is why he growls. It's a classic miscommunication between species. Your son just needs new and better ways to express affection and connect to his new pal.

     Kids like action and so do dogs. My JustForFun Agility will give your son a way to channel all that love, and energy, in a more productive way. Your new dog will learn to follow commands from your son and together they can form a bond through their new dog sports. And there's more than just Agility to choose from- Be sure to check my website at www.suemyles.com/dogsports for all the fun actives I offer for dogs and their humans.

 

     I hope this helps you to understand your dog's behavior a big more clearly. More often than not, I find most of these "problems" tend to be less of a canine behavior problem and more of an inter-species miscommunication!

 

Sincerely,

 Dr. Auntie Sue

A Sneak Peak From Ouch! The Ten Simple Steps - That Really Work - To Stop Your Dog's Biting

Let slip the hounds of war! Don't have a hound of war? Then let slip the Pups of Hide 'N' Seek.

    This game of Find The Hidden Human thrills your pup's inner hunter. He zings through the house using his nose and ears to ferret out his human who lies buried under the blankets on the bed, scrunched up at the end of the bathtub (pull the shower curtain) pressed up against a slightly opened door or hidden under the stairwell.

    Puppies who investigate their big new world satisfy their innate need for novelty and are less apt to shred, bite and rip your arms. Owners crave a pup whose biting is in check.

 

How To Play Hide N Seek with your pup;

What you'll need

You. Your puppy. A human helper. Don’t have a helper? Use dry kibble instead. The kibble won't complain or kvetch so, on second thought, ditch the helper and grab the kibble.

The pup needs to stay put while you scamper to your hiding place. When he's a little older and has learned to " Stay," he'll do it without kibble but for now, a helping handful does the trick.

 To keep  your eager little hunter in the dining room while you dive into the closet, scatter a few pieces on the floor. Let it roll! Don't arrange it in a tidy tableau or in a bowl. Scattered pieces of kibble means the pup searches all around the dining room table, giving you time to make your escape.

Begin the game with easy-to-find places. Sit on your bed. Stand in the center of another room. Now call your pup in a voice that rings with "Hey! Little hunter pal! Come find me!"

Your pup looks up from his kibble snack and thinks, "Huh? I recognize the voice! But where o where has my owner gone?"

Pups begin the search immediately. Keep calling. He needs an auditory trail to follow. Timid pups become frightened the first time they realize they are alone in the big, wide dining room with only Great Aunt Ada's  credenza for comfort. The more  your reassuring voice floats through the house the faster your pint size-predator reaches safety.

When he rounds the corner and spies you on the bed or smack dab in the middle of the bathroom it's "Hooray! Time." You sure don't need a food reward; what's better than reuniting with a trusted owner? Congratulate him verbally and tell him he is the smartest and best dog in all the land.

He'll trot around the house with tail and head high knowing he's the King Of Hide 'n' Seek. When he comes to Puppy School he can brag about his exploits to  his little friends.

As the weeks goes on make your hiding places increasingly difficult. We all like to progress in our hobbies. Once your little pup learns this game he'll love it forever.

My own dogs thrived with this game. Their favorite, or at least my favorite, was to burrow under the covers on the bed. The dogs would run into the bedroom and get the auditory and scent cues that I was there. But... where? They could not see me, which threw them into a doggie tizzy. Eventually they'd realize the giggling lump under the spread was me and launch themselves onto the bed.

A mad scene ensued with a growling, play-biting dog tackling the laughing (and well-protected) human. If their play bites through the bedspread were too hard the game stopped. If their jumping back, over and around was accompanied only with acceptable pressure the game, and laughter, continued.

My Pomeranian, Gladys, played Hide 'N' Seek with enthusiasm. Her tiny legs worked overtime as she raced around corners. Maybe your pup will prefer chess but give Hide 'N' Seek a chance before you bring out the board.

Got a human clamoring to help? Have them sit down on the floor with the pup and restrain him by the chest, not the collar. As your pup revels in the excitement of the game he'll strain at the collar which might damage his neck. When you call out "Ready!" the helper releases his hands from the pup's body and watches the canine rocket shoot into space.

Children love this game. Bolder kids can be the Hider. A racing pup encountering a child hidden in a small space can be frightening. More timid kids can help an adult hold the pup or watch from the safety of the top of the dining room table. A wriggling, yapping and fast-moving pup can be a lot to feel safe around if you're only three feet high.

My Rough Collie, Katy, played this game in many a training demonstration during the years we traveled together. Once in Canada we changed the impression our neighbors to the North had of American trainers.  I left Katy on a Stay at one end of the enormous hall. I then had the audience of about three hundred stand. I hid at the other end of the hall while the audience talked and moved around. The astonished Canadians were treated to the racket that only a Collie can make following a "Ready!" called out in my coloratura soprano voice. Katy wove through the crowd like a tricolor sylph, barking and running at equal speeds.

 

Good times.

Dr. Sue's Ages & Stages Of Puppy Development

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Puppies develop rapidly in the first few weeks of their life. It’s important as a puppy parent to know these stages of puppy development and what to expect. A sleepy 6 week old puppy is almost unrecognizable as the zooming, playing, peeing, and biting 14 week old puppy that is soon to come. But, like all the rest, this stage shall soon pass. The prepared puppy parent will know what to expect and when- saving your fingers and your sanity!

 

 

6 – 8 Week Old Stage Of Puppy Development

 

What Does This Age Do?

THEY SLEEP. AND SLEEP SOME MORE.
NEW OWNERS ARE OFTEN BAMBOOZLED INTO THINKING THAT RAISING A PUP IS A BREEZE.

What Do They Need Most?

SLEEP. PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH HUMANS. SLEEP. CONFINEMENT WHERE THEIR CONSTANT, AND UNCONTROLLABLE, PEEING DOESN’T UPSET THE HUMANS. MORE SLEEP.

8 – 10 Week Old Stage Of Puppy Development

 

What Does This Age Do?

PERIODS OF INTENSE ACTIVITY – FOLLOWED BY A ‘CRASH AND BURN’.
THEY EXPLORE THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND FORGET WHERE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO PEE.

What Do They Need Most?

SUPERVISION BY AN AWAKE AND CARING PERSON.  PATTERNS OF HOUSE TRAINING STARTED WITH NO REAL EXPECTATION THEY CAN FOLLOW IT … YET.

10 – 12 Week Old Stage Of Puppy Development

 

What Does This Age Do?

SLEEP LESS. EXPLORE MORE. SCAVENGE IN THE YARD OR ON WALKS. SWALLOW EVERYTHING THEY SCAVENGE. RESPOND  HAPPILY TO PEOPLE IF HUMANS HAVE BEEN KIND AND PREDICTABLE.

What Does This Age Need?

A PATIENT OWNER. PLAYFUL BITING STARTS IN EARNEST AROUND THIS AGE.

SIMPLE COMMANDS SUCH AS SIT FOR YOUR DINNER, STAY AND COME HERE NEED TO BE ‘INSTALLED’ .

12 – 14 Week Old Stage Of Puppy Development

 

What Does This Age Do?

 LOTS. AND AT HIGH SPEED. PLAYFUL BITING INCREASES AT THIS AGE. JUMPING UP BECOMES THEIR HOBBY. PUPPIES ARE MORE BOLD AND LESS LIKELY TO STICK AT YOUR SIDE –  SO USE A LEASH!

What Does This Age Need?

SOCIALIZATION OUTINGS. DURING THIS AGE IT IS VITAL.

DID YOU DO YOUR FIVE PLACES AND FIFTY PEOPLE SOCIALIZATION EXERCISES THIS WEEK?

14 – 16 Week Old Stage Of Puppy Development

 

What Does This Age Do?

CHEWING ON HARD SURFACES STARTS NOW.

INCREASED INTEREST IN THINGS OTHER THAN YOU WHEN IN A NEW ENVIRONMENT.

What Does This Age Need?

FORCE FREE TRAINING IN MY PUPPY CLASS.

LOTS OF MENTAL BRAIN GAMES AND AN INTRODUCTION TO LOOSE LEASH WALKING.

 

Do– Remember that the ages and stages of puppy development occur in a predictable pattern

Don’t– Wait to enroll in classes where your pup can properly socialize.

Dr. Sue's Socialization Guide for Puppies

When it comes to socialization,

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it isn’t just other dogs your pup needs to meet.

 

Socialization is a big, big
word in the land of puppies. 
Think of all the different experiences your dog will have
in her adult life -locations, noises, activities.
 That’s where to focus your lessons.

 

DR.  SUE’S RULES  FOR SOCIALIZING PUPPIES

 

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Visit five new environments a week.

 Meet fifty kind and interested strangers each week.

All dog to dog interactions should be with leashed dogs of approximately the same size & age.

 

Puppies and Children

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Good children make good puppies.

 Exposure to gentle, engaged and happy-to-meet-a-puppy children helps pups like kids.  Exposure to loud, chasing, cornering kids introduce fear in the pup’s world and can create kid-aggressive dogs.

Pick your pup’s company carefully.

 

 

Do –   Explore and enjoy safe places.

Teach your pup to be at ease away from home.

Start as soon as your vet gives the OK .

 

Don’t– Overwhelm a young pup with too much all at once.

Familiarize her to the world slowly, at her own pace .