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A proactive dog training program, that will prepare your dog to welcome your new baby.

When you find out you are having a baby and you already have a dog (or dogs), so many questions run through your mind. You may wonder will my dog accept this baby? How do I introduce them? Are they going to be best friends or worst enemies? Do I have to keep them separated? Do I have to find a new home for my dog? Would my dog ever bite my baby? There are so many concerns for the safety of your child, but, your dog is family too. How can you keep them both safe? You need answers.

My name is Kelly King and I have the answers to your questions. I have 5 dogs, and a baby, and I have been through it all. I would love to help you ease the transition that is about to happen in your household. Having worked as a dog trainer at a Humane Society for years, I felt my dogs would do great with our new bundle of joy. But, I still wanted my pack o’ dogs to be as prepared as possible for our baby’s arrival. Even with my extensive dog training experience I was still looking for new ideas and any edge I could give my mutts. There was limited information available on the web, and even more disappointing...the information that was out there was not very good. I wanted more than the standard quote of “bring a blanket home from the hospital and let the dog sniff it.” I had 9 months to get my dogs ready BEFORE I brought a baby home. That is how 5dogsandababy.com was born.

I have taken my experience as a dog trainer, my experience as a new mom, and developed this unique training program. My goal is to help you prepare your dog for the new baby's arrival. I believe that in good dog training, your hands should never have to touch your dog. No choke, prong, or shock collars are allowed. The use of brute force or fear tactics are not effective, and are inhumane. You will learn the true facts about pack mentality, alpha, and dominance. Do humans really fit into that canine order? These are all things you need to know to really understand your canine companion, and foster the best relationship you have ever had with a dog.

Dogs learn best with positive reinforcement training. It is imperative, in my opinion, to use only positive methods when training dogs, especially when babies and kids are involved. You will learn how your dog’s brain works, what their first language of understanding is, and how to go from a zero to a hero in your dog’s eyes! There is written material to read, video attachments to help you with some of the exercises, and all of it should make you laugh a little too. Dog training should not be too serious. It should be fun, effective, and also, it is something to bring your whole family together (pooch included). With a few, ten minute sessions a day, your dog will be on the road to overall good behavior. With this training program you will both be better equipped to handle your baby's arrival.

The training process is broken down into three Sections. Phase One, Basic Training for Dog and Baby, Phase Two, Preparing Dog and Baby, and Phase Three Introducing Dog and Baby. All three are intertwined and should be read and performed in order, BEFORE the baby's arrival.

However, if you already have the dog and the baby, all three sections can still be instrumental in helping you with the goal of your dog and baby living harmoniously together.

Phase One is Basic Training for Dog and baby. This is an essential first step for preparing you and your dog for the arrival of your child. Much of the content of Basic Training is for you. Understanding how your dog thinks is a key step to successful training. In this first phase, I cover how your dog's brain works, why they do the things they do, canine communication, and how to use those to your advantage in training. The training exercises begin here as well. There are key elements to the training exercises learned in this first phase. They set you up to succeed in the following two phases and cannot be skipped.

Phase Two is Preparing Dog and Baby. This section takes the information from the first section and brings it to the next level. The exercises become more geared toward baby preparation and safety. There is also more information on what your dog is really all about and how that can translate to your baby. There are several new training exercises in this phase and a twist is put on the one's you have already learned.

Phase Three is Introducing Dog and Baby. In this last section, I cover some final preparations to your home, mock introductions, safety exercises, more training fun, some insight into toddlers and dogs, and a look into what I call, your dog's kid personality. There are also more discussions pertaining to the reality and responsibility that is, Kids and Dogs.

If my personal experience, or knowledge of the dog mind, helps even one dog stay in their home or keeps one child from being bitten, then I consider it a huge success!

Ok people, here comes a disclaimer. In addition to these words of caution, there is a legal disclaimer at the bottom of every page. Please remember, all dogs are different in what motivates them to learn. The information I provide in my written program and videos, may not work for every single dog on the planet but, it should work for a majority of dogs out there. If your dog has aggression issues such as growling, snapping, snarling, biting, posture freezing, guarding objects, or has shown any aggressive behavior toward people or otherwise, then this website is not for your dog. I beg you to please look up an Applied Animal Behaviorist in your area, and consult with them about your dogs behavior as soon as possible. An Applied Animal Behaviorist has up to eight years of college education in their field of study and usually hold a MA., MS., Ph.D., or DV.M. so look up their credentials please! 

I am NOT an Applied Animal Behaviorist. I am a dog dog trainer owner of 5 dogs, and a mom. This is NOT for dogs that are known to be aggressive or have had ANY aggression issues EVER!

The goal of my website is for you to know your dogs body signals, understand the way they think, and put realistic goals together for kids and dogs; while also giving you information and insight to help you recognize a possible situation before it arises between your dog and your child.

Trust your instincts, please use common sense, and remember dogs are animals, they can be unpredictable by nature.

Ok, now that being said, let’s get started and have some fun!

Welcome to our first official Blog!

I plan to blog a dog training tip, or story daily, so check back often.

Your comments will have to get a paws up before being published. Looking forward to hearing from you all!!!!!

Thanks,

Kelly and the Pack!

We had a monumental week in our household, our baby has finally found names for our last two dogs.

Vegas is our little man's favorite dog, she was the first to be honored with a little man "moniker". She is now known as, "Zha Zha". Belle, the sister of Vegas, was the next lucky dog in line to be graced with her very own name "Elllle". A week went by, and there it was, Mythos had now joined the ranks of the honored, and named. He would now be known as "Me, Me".  That one is special, because they had not really bonded up to that point, and now little man says "Me, Me, Me, Me" all day long.

Two weeks went by waiting......waiting....... poor Guinness and Haoulie (how-lee) wandered around the house nameless, practically orphans. Every dog deserves a name, when would they get theirs? Then we realized, the word that had entertained us so much over Easter, "Goo", was his name for Guinness. He says it with kind of an old Itialian man accent, it is quite humorus. Later that same week Haoulie had finally been plucked from the depts of obscurity, and given his little man "moniker". He would be known from here forth as, "We, We".

The best part of him having individual names for all the dogs is that, now when we are working dog training exercises he can address them by their "name" and they are more focused on his instruction, instead of mine!

There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to sleeping babies. One is the total silence approach, and the other is sleep amidst mass chaos approach. When you are a first time parent, it is hard to know how to get your baby to sleep in the first place, let alone knowing which sleeping environment is the best for your child.

The subject of this post comes from an experience we had at our house today. My little buddy is sick, and he, much to our dismay, blazed a trail past his nap time. Into the late afternoon/early evening we went, and still no nap.  Lots of crying, squinchy face, and tantrums but, no nap. Then alas, he sleeps.

At the same time, the girl and her tractor came to mow the lawn, as she mows the dog yard as well, the dogs came in during nap time, not the usual operation. I quietly explained to them one by one, if there was one peep from them we could change this whole operation to 4 dogs and a baby in a heartbeat. (ha ha)

Guinness being a Border Collie mix is more prone to bark then the rest. As a result of said barking, she has had the most training in the area of "Let's not bark our fool heads off". It was looking good, the tractor went back and forth, up and down 5 good quiet dogs. Then it happened, she mowed too close to the window, and Guinness could not contain her self for one more moment. "Bark, Bark", "Guinness, fetch" I interjected quickly, she stopped dead in her tracks, and looked at me as if to say "For real, you said FETCH right?" I said "Yup Guinness, I said fetch get a ball." We played catch for a moment or two and she forgot all about barking. The Reward of fetch trumps the self reward of barking.

The little guy slept through the barking because I wasn't afraid to make a little noise when he was a tiny baby and let's face it the dead silence approach was NEVER gonna work in my house!!!!

Today's blog is going to be a training treat, emphasis on the treat part. We are going to talk about what trumps what in your dog's world.

Before your training journey begins the most important thing you need to learn about your canine companion is, what do I have that my dog wants? What does my dog consider a reward? Is is food? Is it my attention? Is it a toy, or game? To what level can my dog's attention be held with this item that they consider a reward. Is it a high value, high distraction reward? Or is it a low value, low distraction reward?

Some of you may instantly know the answer to this question, as it applies to your dog. In Guinness's world, NOTHING trumps fetch. Since Guinness can't fetch with out me that works to my benefit in dog training. In Mythos's world, nothing trumps smelling stuff, as a trainer it is hard to compete with smelling stuff, but I get creative.

Take some time to make a list of things your dog loves. If it is food, then (A) you are lucky and (B) try many variations, and rank them according to how well each item keeps your dog's attention. Vegas is an example of that ranking system according to her, N.Y. Strip is low on her food list, string cheese however, is her number one food favorite.

Once you have figured out the best incentive program for your pooch, install it, and get some dog training done!!

Our previous blog talked about rewards. I would like to extend the conversation into today's blog, but from a different angle. I want you to look at the list that you made of the things your dog loves and rank them 1-5. One being the best. Now, make a list of all the places you need your dog to comply with your behavior requests. For example, the living room, the fenced back yard off leash, on the regular walk, at a pet store, and at a dog park.

We are going to look at an example of this with one of my dogs, Vegas

Top 5 foods (food is her reward wheelhouse) Top 5 activities

1. String cheese                         1. Dog Park

2. Pup A Roni                             2. At a Pet Store

3. Sugar Snap Peas                   3. On a Walk

4. Asparagus Ends                     4. Off leash in Back Yard

5. Handful of her regular kibble  5. Living Room

I have matched her highest value reward with the most distracting environment. Her lowest value reward with the lowest distraction level. These lists are different for every dog. To have success in dog training in all environments, you must always have the rewards trump the distraction. When your reward outweighs the distraction you are increasing the chances that the dog will comply with your behavior request.

So guys, make your own lists for your dog and see what treat matches what activity!

A friend of mine just agreed to dog sit for a year, while the dog's owner is over seas. He said the dog is very well trained, but they have one problem, the dog loves to dig. He wanted some pointers, to stop this digging. I said "Well let's blog about it. "First off let's talk about the breed of this dog. As I have only viewed one photo of the dog, I am just guessing here, but I am fairly confident that it is a Siberian Husky, or a strong mix there of.

Why is the breed of the dog, important in training, you may ask. Let's look at an example of breed traits. You can't say that all Border Collies nip at the heels of moving objects. However, because they have been bred for years to herd livestock, the breed trait of herding (and sometimes nipping heels) can be stronger in some Border Collies and less in others. Guinness is 1/2 Border Collie 1/2 Smooth Coat Collie. Even though she looks straight BC, has lots of drive, intelligence, and energy, she does not nip. Her love for fetch, and her misguided will to fetch until she drops, is part of the BC breed. If you could only see her give the "eye" (another part of her BC charm) to one of the other dogs, they crumble like a house of cards.

What about the Siberian Husky? The Siberian Husky originates from the Siberian Arctic. Their genetic back round comes from the Spitz group. This puts them genetically in a group of Ancient Dog Breeds. There are 14 breeds in this group, and they genetically show the least amount of change from the wolf.

In my opinion, some of the Northern Breeds of dog, retain some of the breed traits of the wolf. I find they have a heighten sense of Prey Instinct, they dig, they have boundless energy that needs to be burned, and they have excellent dog to dog relations. They can be aloof, independent, and highly intelligent.

Now that we know  a little about the breed let's talk about how to use that in dog training. Why go against the grain? Why try to teach a Northern Breed dog to not dig, it can be done, but there are paths of less resistance. For example, give your dog a specific area that they are allowed to dig in. Get some old railroad ties and fashion a box in the yard. Encourage your dog to dig in this area alone. If your dog digs in other areas re-direct them to the "allowed" area for digging and praise them for using the correct digging area. The reward of digging and the bonus of praise will naturally bring them to the "allowed" area again and again. Keep it positive during the "re direct", call the dog's name and then walk them over to the digging area and lay on the praise when they dig in the right area.

Let's also look at how much exercise the dog is getting. Sibe's were bred to have stamina to pull sleds. When dogs have too much energy, and not enough outlet for that energy, they use their dog minds, to solve their dog problems, and digging is going to be high on a Sibe's list of things to do. So start giving that dog some more walks, and give him his very own place to dig. Remember, he may be a little stressed from changing homes, so give him some adjustment time as well.

 

 

 

We are adding yet another page to the book of hyjinx also known as our daily lives. Sunday was dog bath day in our house, much to everyone's chagrin. As I mentally and physically prepare for the 5 dog bath marathon that is about to take place, I fail to realize a new twist is about to rise up.Guinness is first up

Guinness is always my first bath "volunteer", in the spring she is shedding her undercoat, and if I don't apply copious amounts of creme rinse to her hair, she has dred locks for the summer. She takes the longest to dry, and she is the most cooperative of the dogs, when it comes to the bath. 

As I am getting the bath ready for the dog, I fail to realize that my Little Man is getting super excited for the bath that is about to take place, cute right? It was, right up until the point when he realized the bath was not for him. As Guinness got in HIS tub, he began to cry........and then scream.........and then cry........and then scream, you get the idea.Meat Toast is next

Because of the creme rinse situation, it takes at least 20 minutes to complete the bath for Guinness, he cried the entire time. Let's just say, I waited for him to go down for his nap to wash 3 more dogs. One still togo but the hot water situation needed a day to regenerate it's self.

As you have seen from photos of my dogs there is a predominate black and white theme going on here at my house. Haoulie sheds the amount of hair of 5 dogs just on his own. The hair from him alone can make my house look like a snow capped mountain of the Rockies. So grooming is not only necessary for him, it also cuts way down on "fur-bunnies" around the house. If I could afford it I would send Haoulie to the groomer once a month. He is so pretty when he is white but that is not very often as he loves to lay in the dirt! I am also very allergic to Haoulie when he is wet my skin breaks out in hives. So to the groomer would be my first option. But out here in the country, we are on the do it your self program.Belle shakes off her bath

Why is grooming important? Well, there are two types of coat on a dog. Some dogs have fur and some have hair. For example a poodle has hair and my WGSD has fur. Hair is on a continuos growth plan. Less on the floor, but more money at the groomer. Dogs with hair actually need regular "haircuts" about every 6 weeks or they get matted and tangled.

Dogs with fur replace all their fur about every 80 days or so, some in less time and some take more time. But, that means that every few months every hair on your dog's body falls out YIKES!! So most dogs need help shedding out that fur so they don't get bacteria build up on their skin, which can lead to the dreaded S.D.S in dogs (that's Stinky Dog Syndrome).Vegas is camera shy

Some dogs that have a double coat or undercoat like a GSD or Husky type dog, also "blow" their coats twice a year. This is when the coat literally comes out in chunks and tufts. There is no rhyme or reason to this process. Belle and Vegas are litter-mates and Vegas "blows" her coat in February, Belle doesn't blow hers until June.

Some of my favorite grooming tools are a Zoom Groom, the Furminator, and a small tooth comb. All of these used on a regular basis keep the dogs shedding less in the house. Also regular brushing can help you see any changes in your dog's skin and it help's you keep an eye on the possible flea and tick situation. I have actually found unknown injuries on my dog's during grooming sessions.I got a bath too!

So take the time to brush your dog often and wash them once in a while, if you live on a farm like me wait for a hot day and hose them down ha ha just kidding.

 

Today's blog is on the a little known affliction called P.N.D.S. Although there is no cure, there are things you can do to help manage this syndrome. My dog Mythos suffers from P.N.D.S., it can be costly, and frustrating at times. The symptoms of this affliction can be taxing, and too much for most to deal with. Some people choose to give up their dog to a shelter, or rescue for the reason that, management of this syndrome can feel like a full time job. But there is hope for those of us with dogs that have P.N.D.S. 

How do I know if my dog has P.N.D.S.?

Symptoms of P.N.D.S. may include but are not exclusive to the following.

*Excessive inappropriate digging, Obsession with escaping any enclosure

*Running away given any opportunity (and returning with a skunk!!)

*Can never be "off leash", Obsessed with food, eats meal in 30 seconds

*Gets on counter to steal.....a roast, several bunches of bananas, pizzas, avocados, sandwiches, tomatoes, 

peaches, meatballs, bacon, pan of risotto, stick of butter-well more like sticks of butter, places entire head in

pot of beef stew ect ect.

*Excessive chewing of inappropriate objects such as.....rolls of toilet paper, used tissues or entire boxes of unused

tissues, money, paper towels, treat bags, pockets of pants that used to contain treats, cell phone, remote control,

sunglasses, leather bound book, bars of soap, tube of toothpaste ect ect.

*Baby related items consumed

dirty diapers, pacifiers, bibs, t shirts used as bibs, 3 ft of wipes (please don't ask me how I know it was that long lets just say I know)

So does your dog have P.N.D.S. like Mythos does? There is no shame in admitting that your dog has......

                                          !!!!!!!PERPETUAL NAUGHTY DOG SYNDROME!!!!!!! 

I am a dog trainer, and I have no problem in admitting that my dog Meat Head, (as we like to call him) is so stinking naughty that we invented a disorder to fit his naughty behavior. This syndrome does not come from lack of training, lack of exercise, or even lack of mental stimulation. It comes from his off the charts Bloodhound sense of smell. You see his sense of smell is so strong, it leads him to anything food related, which in turn leads him into the naughty dog abyss.

There is hope for dogs with Perpetual Naughty Dog Syndrome. Mythos has learned the importance of doing the right thing when it comes to the little man. We are diligent about rewarding him for the right behavior or behaviors around our little guy. We speak to him in a language he understands FOOD!!!! He is such a pig he will do almost anything for a tasty snack. 

One way to keep a dog with P.N.D.S. in check is find out what makes them tick, and use that to your advantage at every turn. If you have a dog that suffers from Perpetual Naughty Dog Syndrome, keep checking our 5 Dog Blog for training tips and humorous stories!

 

 

Well folks, the 4th of July holiday got me thinking about a blog topic near and dear to my heart. What holiday if any should my dog participate in? You all know I love my dogs to death, however I am kind of a "holiday doggie buzz kill" and let me explain why.  Let's take the most recent holiday, the 4th of July. There are many dogs that suffer from sound sensitivity. Fireworks booming and popping can frighten most dogs without sound sensitivity to the point of disorientation, let alone sound sensitive dogs. When I worked at the shelter, we always had a higher influx of dogs in the days following the 4th of July. They were dogs that were so frightened by the boom boom's they busted loose and ran and ran and ran. By the time they realized they were not going to die, they were miles from home.

If you asked my dogs about the 4th of July holiday, they would answer "What is this 4th of July you are speaking of????" The reason is, before we moved to the country, I lived in a town that takes celebrating the 4th to a whole new level, and the fireworks went off for days.  So, I would take my dogs, and put them in the laundry room, (aka the bunker) turn on a radio, and let them wait out the boom booms.  They never missed the party, because they didn't know there was a party. 

Another holiday my dogs are not aware of is, Halloween. There are many reasons why, here are just a few. Masks and costumes are scary. Even if you don't think godzilla is scary, your dog might. An endless stream of strangers ringing your doorbell, and yelling trick or treat is scary, and just too much commotion for your dog. Fear, may push a dog to do something they normally would not do. Your dog does not need to help you pass out candy at the front door. They do need a dog treat filled toy, in a quiet place, with a radio on, and no access to windows. Your dog most likely does not care to be dressed up in costume either.

So you say, "well Kelly what about Thanksgiving? We have 25 people over to our house, can our dog enjoy that party?" My dogs think Thanksgiving happens at 8pm. The only people left are Connie and Charlie, and the dogs get nummy snacks with their kibble. They don't know 25 people were here earlier, and guess what they don't care either.

Why am I such a Holiday doggie buzz kill? Well, I firmly believe in setting my dogs up for success in every situation. If I feel the situation is too much for my dogs, then they chill elsewhere. YOU MUST KNOW YOUR DOG AND THEIR LIMITS.

We have had numerous card parties, and countless visitors over the years, and my dogs do great. They lounge about the house acting as if no one was even there. I am not saying that a guest in my house has never gotten a dog nose up their butt because they have. My dogs are not perfect, they are dogs, and dogs sniff butts. However, jumping, or endlessly mugging guests for attention is strictly prohibited in our house.

Also, be a polite host, provide your guest with a complimentary once over with a lint roller on their way out the door.  

Part 2 to follow.......