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I write to help real people with real pets and real problems. I include stories to illustrate examples; some stories are from my daily life as a dog trainer/behaviorist. I use humor, lots of humor, in my book and a friendly 'let me help you' style.

My writing is helpful, funny and most of all, directed toward loving owners.

 

With my 10 Simple Steps- That Really Work- Series, you can train at your own pace from the comfort of your own home!

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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.