Training Tips and News

Solve Your Dog’s Behavior Problem With One Easy Step

Posted on May 13, 2012Categories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Animal Behavior, DogsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We see dogs with a variety of behavior problems:

  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Barking
  • Destructive Behavior

and many more.

All of these problems require different approaches, and every dog requires his or her own unique set of steps to achieve a solution.

But there is one thing that almost all of our cases have in common:


Many of the dogs we see are under exercised. Others dogs get a lot of one kind of exercise but not enough of another.

One of the first steps we always take to approaching any behavior problem is to increase the exercise and to balance the KINDS of exercise the dog is getting.

We often find that many times, this in itself is the most effective step towards solving the problem. Quite frequently, this is the ONLY necessary step.

Is your dog getting enough of the right kinds of exercise?

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Announcement: New Discount Available at Wag The Dog!

Posted on March 27, 2012Categories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Animal Health, News And Updates, Please Share

Great Vet, Great Discount!

We are delighted to announce that Wag The Dog now offers a 15% discount on services to clients of Healing Paws Veterinary Care in Port Moody!

This amazing veterinary clinic combines holistic approaches with conventional veterinary medicine, giving us the best of both worlds. To this great mix they add something even more special – a personal touch.

Those who have met the veterinarians and staff at Healing Paws will tell you that Healing Paws really cares.

When she isn’t training, you can often find Carol Millman working as a nurse at Healing Paws to keep up her animal health care skills. The positive staff atmosphere and their commitment to providing the best quality care possible makes her time there truly special.

Wag The Dog is a big believer in positive reinforcement, so we want to extend this discount as a thank you to Healing Paws for recommending Wag The Dog to clients, and for being so generally wonderful.

To learn about other ways to get discounts on services at Wag The Dog, check out our Rates, Packages and Discounts page!

To learn more about Wag The Dog, visit What We DoWho We Are, and Why We’re Different or check out our Facebook Page!

Easy Dog Tricks: “Leave It!”

Posted on March 14, 2012Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Training Methods

Possibly one of the best “tricks” you can teach your dog is “Leave It”.

“Leave It” is a wonderful command for three reasons:

1. It stops your dog from eating that dead bird/dirty underwear/rat poison that he is sniffing with such delight.

2. It teaches your dog self-control, which automatically translates into many other obedience applications.

3. It trains your dog to focus on you to get what he wants, rather than focusing on the thing that he desires.

How amazing would it be to have a dog who looks at YOU when he sees something that he wants to grab, rather than just rushing up to it? How great would it be to have a dog who won’t touch something until you tell him that it is okay?

And yet, this only takes five or ten minutes to teach, and you can do it without a single harsh word aimed at your dog.

You will be surprised at how fast your dog can learn this, even an impulsive young puppy. Check out this adorable video of our client Walnut, a puppy whose fantastic family has him doing “leave it” with the most tempting of items – a big, delicious cookie!

And the best part is that this perfect behavior was trained with completely positive techniques – never a harsh word uttered!

How To Teach “Leave It”:

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And Baby Makes Four

Posted on February 17, 2012June 11, 2020Categories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Animal Behavior, Dogs, News And UpdatesTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How do you explain a baby to your dog?

More and more families are waiting to have children, and often their dog is considered to be their furry first-born.

When a baby comes into the picture, the family dog often finds himself shunted to one side. Walks are curtailed and the family’s attention is eaten up by a wailing, squirming little creature who looks nothing like a normal human being.

“I thought lying on the floor and chewing things was my job…”

Some dogs adjust easily, and some adjust with difficulty.

Continue reading “And Baby Makes Four”

Common Mistakes Dog Owners Make: Coming When Called

Posted on February 2, 2012Categories Animal Behavior, Common Mistakes Owners Make, Dogs, Training MethodsTags , , , , , , ,

In this series we will discuss some of the most common errors made by dog owners, and how to address them.

Training The Dog To Run Away When Called

This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many pet owners accidentally train their dog to run away from them!

Coming when called should always be a happy occasion.

Once your dog is off-leash, the only control you have over him is your past history of rewarding him for returning to you. If you have not built this history strongly enough, then reclaiming your dog may be quite a challenge.

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5 Clicker Training Myths

Posted on January 31, 2012Categories Dogs, Training MethodsTags , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Clicker Training can be a controversial topic in the dog training world. Some trainers heartily endorse it as a positive and fast way to interact with your dog, while others call it “bribery” and accuse clicker trainers of being unable to deal with behavior problems effectively.

What is Clicker Training?

“Clicker Training” is another term for “Using A Conditioned Reinforcer To Positively Reinforce Desired Behaviors.” Most people find that “Clicker Training” rolls off the tongue more easily.

All it means is that you teach your pet to recognize a unique sound (such as a distinctive click) to indicate that he has earned a treat. You use this sound to clearly communicate to your pet that he has done something right.

At Wag The Dog, we incorporate many different training styles, but we recommend it to all our clients as an excellent tool to add to their training toolbox. When we do this, we usually have to help bust certain common misunderstandings about this outstandingly useful training method.

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That Was Easy! How To Train Your Dog To Push A Button

Posted on January 26, 2012Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Training MethodsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Watch as our trainer Carol Millman demonstrates how quick and easy it can be to teach your dog a new skill in a matter of minutes!

Using clicker training, she trains her Sheltie, Odin, to push a button with his nose in a single 5 minute session. The video footage is one continuous take to prove that we aren’t using any editing tricks.

If you live in Greater Vancouver, the Tri-Cities, or the Fraser Valley of BC and you would like your dog to be able to learn great tricks like this one,

email us at or BOOK NOW on-line!


Yes, your dog CAN be this awesome.

What Dog Trainers Don’t Want You To Know:

Posted on December 16, 2011Categories Animal Behavior, Dogs, Training MethodsTags , , , , , , ,

There are many different schools of thought on how to train dogs.

Ask three different dog trainers how to teach a dog to retrieve, and you’ll likely get three different sets of answers.

  • One trainer will advocate pinching the dog’s ear.
  • Another will advocate using a clicker and a bag of treats.
  • The third will say that the only way is to use the dog’s natural prey drive, and that neither treat rewards nor negative reinforcement are the answer.

All of them will argue vociferously against the other two, each convinced that their way is the RIGHT way.

So how do you know what is best for your pet?

The argument spreads everywhere. Your local bookstore is filled with books written by trainers, all claiming to have the answer. Look on the internet and you’ll become even more confused.

“Is it okay to let my dog up on the bed? Will this foster closeness and bonding, or will this upset the pack hierarchy?”

“When my dog jumps up, is it submissive, or dominant behaviour?”

“If my dog tugs on the leash, is it because he doesn’t respect me, or because I have rewarded him for pulling?”

Every trainer has a different answer, and each is convinced that his answer is the truth.

Who do you believe?

The answer is simple:

Continue reading “What Dog Trainers Don’t Want You To Know:”