Boogie barks!

June 4, 2009 at 1:05 am 3 comments

DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written in 2009. We no longer do Obedience Training using “dominance”-based methods. We no longer use collar corrections. These methods made Boogie MORE TENSE, MORE TRIGGERED and more prone to aggressive behaviors. We switched over to reward-based methods in February 2010 and saw improvements. 


First of all, Boogie is now on! This is sort of like Twitter for dogs. Instead of tweets, there are barks. Yeah yeah, I know – it’s a little weird and sort of ‘schizophrenic’ tweeting/barking on behalf of my dog, but if you are interested in adding the Boogs, here is the link:

I finished both books – by the Dog Whisperer and the Dog Listener. I think Jan Fennel (Dog Listener) is to the UK what Cesar Millan is to the US.

Wes isn’t crazy about Jan Fennell’s techniques (“Amichien Bonding”) especially the part about ignoring your dog for 5 minutes when you come home in order to reestablish leadership. Me neither, because the truth is that I AM excited about seeing Boogie when I come home. I understand about the need to remain calm, but to completely ignore Boogie for five minutes – heck that is a long time to go poker-faced. Doesn’t seem healthy to me….

I can already predict what Cesar Millan would say: “If you pretend to be calm on the outside, your dog would still know that you are not really calm on the inside…”

I was curious if the 5-minute rule would apply where Boogie is in his crate when we come home… I  did some googling and found this link: Amichien Bonding For Crated Dogs

When I come home, I don’t open the crate door immediately. I walk around the apartment, put my bag down etc. (sort of “ignoring” him), and then when I finally open the door, the Boogs is happy but calm-ish. Not as crazy like the times we come home and he’s not crated.

Here’s another dog trainer/behaviorist that I find interesting –
Dr. Sophia Yin is a vet who trains vets and staff on animal handling, who is somewhat anti- the Cesar Millan school of training. In other words her approach also goes against Boogie’s current training program…

Some articles by Dr. Yin:

Summary: Not every bad behavior = the dog trying to be dominant. The term “dominance” has become problematic because it gets used for almost everything in shows like the Dog Whisperer.


  1. Recognize signs of fear and anxiety (eg, cowering, averting gaze, licking lips, yawning)
  2. Set up the environment to be as calm as possible
  3. Make a good first impression; approach the dog correctly – stand/crouch sideways, no eye contact. No head-on approach or out-stretched arm <– And most people stick out their arm or hand first!!! I know the idea is to let the dog sniff you first but I don’t think this works for Boogie. He’s like: Why the heck are you sticking your hand in my face? If I want to sniff you, I’ll sniff you.
  4. Avoid hugging or placing your face into dog’s face.
  5. Don’t forcibly restrain dog for procedures they dislike (eg, grooming)
  6. When restraining, support the dog so it feels secure. (handle dog correctly)
  7. Control movement with leash.

The last time that Boogie bit or nipped at someone, rules #1, #3, #4 and #7 were not followed. Yeah, we learned our lesson.

Dr Yin also has some great videos on YouTube.

I like this one (Fear aggression towards other dogs)

I guess I need to have LOTS of treats in my pocket…

Entry filed under: Reads, Social stuff, Training.

Some People Are Stupid Boogie: red neck

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. geminisc  |  June 5, 2009 at 3:09 am

    those rules are interesting.

    i always get in fred’s face. LOL.

    there are many times i’ll hug him around the neck spontaneously and at night i’ll lie at his level on the ground and touch noses with him.

    every once in a while he licks my nose/kisses me

    i assume those rules are for certain circumstances? or for all circumstances?

    freddie doesn’t seem to be a biter *fingers crossed* but i don’t want to disturb him either. but so far my actions haven’t really changed the way he acts around me?

  • 2. lili  |  June 5, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Wes and I get in Boogie’s face all the time! In fact, anybody who knows Boogie (whom Boogie knows and loves) can get in his face and he doesn’t freak out. In fact we can do pretty much anything to him because he trusts us.

    It’s with people whom he doesn’t know that he becomes nervous … these situations have led to sudden lunges and nips.

    In a human situation….If a person that you barely know suddenly invades your personal space (and grabs you or kisses you)… even if their intentions are good, it’s still an invasion of personal space and can be overwhelming. I was told that dogs are very big on personal space and I think Boogie is extra sensitive.

  • 3. geminisc  |  June 5, 2009 at 5:17 am

    AH RIGHT. gotcha. =)


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