The Adventures of Little Yo

Be forewarned this story will affect you. It is a telling of the life, love and loss of a beloved family member. This is easily one of the hardest things I’ve ever written but I really wanted to share this with you all. I hope it helps you in some way.

Yolanda Tripp (2003 – 2010)

Her story starts in Greece. She and her siblings were born into the care of someone so vile they treated small pups like rubbish. Literally. On a fall day in 2003 a Greek goddess happened to be enjoying a stroll on her island when she heard some whimpering from a garbage compactor. The Goddess rescued four puppies and cared for them until homes could be found. Two of those dogs (Yolanda and Dmax) were able to obtain some European pet passports and booked international travel under the protection of the evil eye to their new home here in Philadelphia. (The goddess still keeps an eye out for helpless dogs in need of love and always manages to get them to wherever that love awaits.)

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11 easy ways to create a better dog

One of the most common things I hear from new clients is that they simply don’t know where to begin. It can seem like a daunting task to get from the slightly damaged dog they adopt from the local shelter or the happy, bouncy puppy with the short attention span to an attentive dog that’s ready to be trained. The truth is by changing some simple things in the way you interact with your dog you can get there in no time.

  1. Get a suitable training collar for your dog and learn how to use it properly.
  2. Get a good quality dog crate and use it whenever your dog is unattended. Note: No collars or harnesses in the crate!
  3. Supply a bed or mat other than the dog crate for your dog to use when not crated. This should be their destination when they are sent to go lay down unless you specifically point them elsewhere.
  4. Keep your dog off the furniture unless they have been specifically invited up.
  5. Consult your veterinarian for a specific food recommendation suited to your dog’s age, breed, fitness and health needs. Continue reading

Following the Rules of Proper Dog Park Etiquette

Dog parks are great treat for any pooch & in an urban environment they are nearly essential to maintaining a well balanced dog. Many parks go beyond a simple fenced enclosure to offer a real community for dog owners. To be able to really participate in that community you should know what’s expected of you and your dog. The bonus is that by following proper dog park etiquette you’re sure to enjoy your time with your four legged friend at the local dog run just a little bit more. Continue reading

Take You & Your Dog And Get the Hell Out of the City

This time of year is a beast in the city. Hot and sticky isn’t exactly the weather that pulls us out of the house to be active with our dogs. Here in Philadelphia we are lucky to have so much great parkspace to enjoy. Don’t let it the greenspace in your area go to waste! A quick jaunt to a dog park in your neighborhood like Clark Park, Schyukill River Park, Seger Park, Mario Lanza , or another such city park may seem to be all you can manage, but you can do better than that.

It’s not that hard to pick one evening or weekend day and take the pooch on a true adventure to a bigger, greener park than usual. Try a hike in the Wissahickon Valley or just enjoy a long walk along Kelly Drive. You’ll get out, get some exercise & meet people and their dogs… and so will your pooch.

A good time will be had by all.

Introducing a New Dog to Your Pack

One of the happiest times for any dog owner is the day they bring their new dog home. It can be a time of great excitement & joy (not to mention a bit of chaos & turmoil thrown in for good measure). Your dogs are likely used to a daily routine and a certain level of attention from you and the other members of the family. The addition of a new dog can change these patterns and upset even the most even-tempered dogs. Often dogs will suddenly exhibit territorial behavior or separation anxiety after the introduction of a new dog. If you take the time to prepare yourself & your current pets you’ll have a smoother, less stressful transition for everyone involved. Continue reading

5 Steps to Controlling Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Canine separation anxiety can show itself in many ways, from your dog following you around the house the moment you grab for your keys to barking constantly at the door after you leave, destructive chewing or soiling in the house while you’re away. The result can be quite a frustrating experience that can put stress on the relationship you have with your dog. The good news is regardless of how bad things may seem there are steps you can take to lessen or even solve your dog’s anxiety issues. The real challenge is standing your ground through the process as dealing with a dog with separation issues can be much like dealing with a crying child. With that in mind let’s get to work. Continue reading

The Zen of Having An Active Dog

Every dog wants to be active. Yes, even yours. It may not be how your dog acts now but trust me, deep down she yearns for a jog through the neighborhood, a hike in the woods or to come along for some cross country skiing. Beyond that desire being fulfilled, the many benefits of having an active dog far outweigh the “ease” of spending your time lounging around with a canine couch potato. The main result you’ll see by keeping your dog physically fit will be a greatly improved quality of life throughout their entire life process. And when your dog one day encounters old age they’ll be much more able to maintain a mobile, alert and enthusiastically active lifestyle. This higher quality of life, throughout the entire life, is well worth the effort for you and your dog. Simply put, any physically active dog will be far better off than one that leads a lazy, sedentary lifestyle. A regimen of regular exercise and an overall fit lifestyle have the same beneficial affects in dogs as they do in us humans. Continue reading

Using Nothing In Life Is Free To Become The Alpha Dog

The Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF) regimen is well suited for most dogs because it’s effective for such a wide variety of behavior issues. A shy, withdrawn or timid dog becomes more self assured by knowing that they no longer have anything to worry about, you’re in charge of everything. A dominant, aggressive or anxious dog that may be pushing too hard to become the pack leader will learn that the position is simply not available and life will be so much more enjoyable without the title. Nothing In Life Is Free is also successful with dogs that fall anywhere between those two extremes. The regimen is not hard to implement and not very time consuming for you (especially if your dog already knows a few basic obedience commands). While the changes in behavior can be more profound in some dogs than others Nothing In Life Is Free rarely fails to bring about a positive change in k9 behavior. While most people start the regimen for it’s behavior modification benefits, it is also suitable for a dog that has no major behavior problems and simply needs some fine tuning and balance.

Reversing Attention On Demand

The program begins by eliminating your dog’s control over you. When your dog comes to you and nudges your hand, She is saying “pet me! pet me! NOW!” You must resist the urge to succumb to her demand. Don’t tell her “no”, don’t push her away. Continue reading